3D biopsies to better understand brain tumours

Madrid:  Researchers have obtained a highly accurate recreation of human glioblastoma’s features using a novel 3D microscopy analysis.

The study, published in the journal Acta Neuropathologica Communications, provides new information to help with the diagnose, by finding therapeutical targets and designing immunotherapeutic strategies.

This new analysis of 3D images and quantitative data “will help to appreciate from within how the tumor is built in its full dimensionality, and to identify where different cell types are located,” explained researcher George Paul Cribaro from the Universitat AutAnoma de Barcelona.

“It provides more complete information than the usual 2D analyses performed for neuropathological diagnosis,” Cribaro added.

With this new approach, the research team showed the alterations in tumour blood vessels, and that these vascular wall abnormalities do not hinder the entrance of lymphocytes T (potential defense against tumoral cells), which is relevant for the design and use of immunotherapies targeting malignant cells.

Moreover, the images allow the tumour to be differentiated into two areas, the tumor tissue properly speaking, and the stroma, which gives support to the tumor, in which there are different immunological microenvironments, the team said.

The work provides a set of resource images that will facilitate the understanding of the complexity of this tumor, showing some aspects to be considered when designing new therapeutic approaches.


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