Key rates for the grades and transformation ability of glioma: model simulations and clinical cases

Academic Article


  • Tumor progression to higher grade is a fundamental property of cancer. The malignant advancement of the pathological features may either develop during the later stages of cancer growth (natural evolution) or it may necessitate new mutations or molecular events that alter the rates of growth, dispersion, or neovascularization (transformation). Here, we model the pathological and radiological features of grades 2–4 gliomas at the times of diagnosis and death and study grade development and the progression to higher grades. We perform a retrospective review of clinical cases based on model predictions. Simulations uncover two unusual patterns of glioma progression, which are supported by clinical cases: (1) some grades 2 and 3 gliomas lack the ability of progression to higher grades, and (2) grade 3 glioma may evolve to GBM in a few weeks. All 13 gliomas that recurred at the same grade carry either the IDH1-R132H or the ATRX mutation. All (five of five) grade 3 tumors are 1p/19q co-deleted, IDH1-R132H mutated and ATRX wt. Furthermore, three of seven grade 2 gliomas are both IDH1-R132H mutated and ATRX mutated. Simulations replicate the good prognosis of secondary GBM. The results support the hypothesis that constant rates of dispersion, proliferation, and angiogenesis prescribe either a natural evolution or the inability to progress to higher grades. Furthermore, the accrual of molecular events that change a tumor’s ability to infiltrate, proliferate or neovascularize may transform the glioma either into a more aggressive tumor at the same grade or elevate its grade.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Scribner E; Hackney JR; Machemehl HC; Afiouni R; Patel KR; Fathallah-Shaykh HM
  • Start Page

  • 377
  • End Page

  • 388
  • Volume

  • 133
  • Issue

  • 2