The recent molecular characterization of glioblastoma by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) resulted in the identification of four major subtypes: classical, mesenchymal, proneural, and neural.
It is likely that each subtype will be found to be heterogeneous upon additional molecular characterization. While TCGA has uncovered the extreme molecular heterogeneity of glioblastoma, it has not developed preclinical models to screen for therapies to target the various subtypes of glioblastoma.
One of the Glioblastoma Foundation’s key initiatives is to support the development and characterization of a large panel (>50) of patient-derived glioblastoma xenografts (PDGX). To develop a PDGX, tumor tissue from a glioblastoma patient is implanted in the flank of a immunocompromised mouse, where it grows and maintains the molecular complexity of the implanted tumor.
The Glioblastoma Foundation also stresses the development of PDGXs from tumors of adolescent and young adult (AYA) glioblastoma patients. This subtype of glioblastoma (patients ages 18 to 39) is biologically distinct from glioblastoma subtypes that occur in both younger and older age groups, thus requiring its own preclinical models.
The Glioblastoma Foundation funds preclinical research on personalized drug development for glioblastoma. Support for preclinical testing is a cornerstone initiative of Glioblastoma Foundation, as we believe this approach has the capability to address the vast heterogeneity of glioblastomas.