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Functional connectivity within glioblastoma impacts overall survival.

  • Daniel, Andy GS
  • Park, Ki Yun
  • Roland, Jarod L
  • Dierker, Donna
  • Gross, James
  • Humphries, Joseph B
  • Hacker, Carl D
  • Snyder, Abraham Z
  • Shimony, Joshua S
  • Leuthardt, Eric C
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2021
eScholarship - University of California
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BackgroundGlioblastoma (GBM; World Health Organization grade IV) assumes a variable appearance on MRI owing to heterogeneous proliferation and infiltration of its cells. As a result, the neurovascular units responsible for functional connectivity (FC) may exist within gross tumor boundaries, albeit with altered magnitude. Therefore, we hypothesize that the strength of FC within GBMs is predictive of overall survival.MethodsWe used predefined FC regions of interest (ROIs) in de novo GBM patients to characterize the presence of within-tumor FC observable via resting-state functional MRI and its relationship to survival outcomes.ResultsFifty-seven GBM patients (mean age, 57.8 ± 13.9 y) were analyzed. Functionally connected voxels, not identifiable on conventional structural images, can be routinely found within the tumor mass and was not significantly correlated to tumor size. In patients with known survival times (n = 31), higher intranetwork FC strength within GBM tumors was associated with better overall survival even after accounting for clinical and demographic covariates.ConclusionsThese findings suggest the possibility that functionally intact regions may persist within GBMs and that the extent to which FC is maintained may carry prognostic value and inform treatment planning.

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