Research Snapshot: Drs. Changlin Yang and Loic Deleyrolle

By Todd Taylor

graphic displaying brain cancer stem cell lineage heterogenity. illustration of different drugs interacting with blood cells
This image represents the cancer stem cell mosaicism model in brain cancer supported by this study. It shows the complexity, heterogeneity and adaptability of these tumors and illustrates the combinational therapeutic strategies necessary to treat them.

In a new study of human glioblastoma tumor cells, University of Florida neuroscientists provide insight into the diverse types of cells that make up the aggressive tumor, suggesting a need for multi-pronged treatment strategies aimed at different targets.

The study, published in the journal Cancers, was led by Loic Deleyrolle, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Lillian S. Wells Department of Neurosurgery, and Changlin Yang, M.D., a research assistant scientist.

“The most significant finding of our study is the demonstration of a tremendous heterogeneity within specialized populations of brain tumor cells, or cancer stem cells, that drive disease presentation, evolution and treatment resistance,” Deleyrolle said.

The methods used by the research team included advanced bioinformatic and statistical analyses, single cell RNA sequencing, genetic engineering, cell trajectory analysis, functional in vitro assays and drug screening.

“The next step will be to assess different strategies to target the diverse cell lineages defined in our study in mice,” Deleyrolle said.

Read the paper in the journal Cancers.