Patients with glioblastoma multiform (GBM) have an overall median survival of 15 months. This catastrophic survival rate is the consequence of systematic relapses that could arise from remaining glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs) left behind after surgery.

Researchers at GIGA demonstrated that GSCs are able to escape the tumor mass and specifically colonize the adult subventricular zones (SVZs) after transplantation. This specific localization, away from the initial injection site, therefore represents a high-quality model of a clinical obstacle to therapy and relapses because GSCs notably retain the ability to form secondary tumors.

They questioned the role of the CXCL12/CXCR4 signaling in the GSC-specific invasion of the SVZs and demonstrated that both receptor and ligand are respectively expressed by different GBM cell populations and by the SVZ itself.

Using in vitro and in vivo models they revealed the significant role of the CXCL12/CXCR4 signaling in this original model of brain cancer invasion.

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