Phenotypic heterogeneity of glioblastomas is a leading determinant of therapeutic resistance and treatment failure. However, functional assessment of the heterogeneity of glioblastomas is lacking. We developed a self-assembly-based assessment system that predicts inter/intracellular heterogeneity and phenotype associations, such as cell proliferation, invasiveness, drug responses, and gene expression profiles. Under physical constraints for cellular interactions, mixed populations of glioblastoma cells are sorted to form a segregated architecture, depending on their preference for binding to cells of the same phenotype. Cells distributed at the periphery exhibit a reduced temozolomide (TMZ) response and are associated with poor patient survival, whereas cells in the core of the aggregates exhibit a significant response to TMZ. Our results suggest that the multicellular self-assembly pattern is indicative of the intertumoral and intra-patient heterogeneity of glioblastomas, and is predictive of the therapeutic response.
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research