Tumor necrosis is a poor prognostic marker in glioblastoma (GBM) and a variety of other solid cancers. Accumulating evidence supports that necrosis could facilitate tumor progression and resistance to therapeutics. GBM necrosis is typically first detected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), after prominent necrosis has already formed. Therefore, radiological appearances of early necrosis formation and the temporal-spatial development of necrosis alongside tumor progression remain poorly understood. This knowledge gap leads to a lack of reliable radiographic diagnostic/prognostic markers in early GBM progression to detect necrosis. Recently, we reported an orthotopic xenograft GBM murine model driven by hyperactivation of the Hippo pathway transcriptional coactivator with PDZ-binding motif (TAZ) which recapitulates the extent of GBM necrosis seen among patients. In this study, we utilized this model to perform a temporal radiographic and histological study of necrosis development. We observed tumor tissue actively undergoing necrosis first appears more brightly enhancing in the early stages of progression in comparison to the rest of the tumor tissue. Later stages of tumor progression lead to loss of enhancement and unenhancing signals in the necrotic central portion of tumors on T1-weighted post-contrast MRI. This central unenhancing portion coincides with the radiographic and clinical definition of necrosis among GBM patients. Moreover, as necrosis evolves, two relatively more contrast-enhancing rims are observed in relationship to the solid enhancing tumor surrounding the central necrosis in the later stages. The outer more prominently enhancing rim at the tumor border probably represents the infiltrating tumor edge, and the inner enhancing rim at the peri-necrotic region may represent locally infiltrating immune cells. The associated inflammation at the peri-necrotic region was further confirmed by immunohistochemical study of the temporal development of tumor necrosis. Neutrophils appear to be the predominant immune cell population in this region as necrosis evolves. This study shows central, brightly enhancing areas associated with inflammation in the tumor microenvironment may represent an early indication of necrosis development in GBM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number993649
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
StatePublished - Oct 14 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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