Neuronal and tumourigenic boundaries of glioblastoma plasticity

Manam Inushi De Silva, Brett W. Stringer, Cedric Bardy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
57 Downloads (Pure)


Glioblastoma (GBM) remains the most lethal primary brain cancer largely due to recurrence of treatment-resistant disease. Current therapies are ultimately ineffective as GBM tumour cells adapt their identity to escape treatment. Recent advances in single-cell epigenetics and transcriptomics highlight heterogeneous cell populations in GBM tumours originating from unique cancerous genetic aberrations. However, they also suggest that tumour cells conserve molecular properties of parent neuronal cells, with their permissive epigenetic profiles enabling them to morph along a finite number of reprogramming routes to evade treatment. Here, we review the known tumourigenic, neurodevelopmental and brain-injury boundaries of GBM plasticity, and propose that effective treatment of GBM requires the addition of therapeutics that restrain GBM plasticity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-236
Number of pages14
JournalTrends in Cancer
Issue number3
Early online date29 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • brain cancer
  • cellular reprogramming
  • epigenetics
  • genetics
  • glioma
  • neurodevelopment
  • stem cells
  • transcriptomics
  • treatment-resistance
  • tumour plasticity


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