The Direction of Tumour Growth in Glioblastoma Patients
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionScientific Reports. 2018, 8 . 10.1038/s41598-018-19420-z
Generating MR-derived growth pattern models for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) has been an attractive approach in neuro-oncology, suggesting a distinct pattern of lesion spread with a tendency in growing along the white matter (WM) fibre direction for the invasive component. However, the direction of growth is not much studied in vivo. In this study, we sought to study the dominant directions of tumour expansion/shrinkage pre-treatment. We examined fifty-six GBMs at two time-points: at radiological diagnosis and as part of the pre-operative planning, both with contrast-enhanced T1-weighted MRIs. The tumour volumes were semi-automatically segmented. A non-linear registration resulting in a deformation field characterizing the changes between the two time points was used together with the segmented tumours to determine the dominant directions of tumour change. To compute the degree of alignment between tumour growth vectors and WM fibres, an angle map was calculated. Our results demonstrate that tumours tend to grow predominantly along the WM, as evidenced by the dominant vector population with the maximum alignments. Our findings represent a step forward in investigating the hypothesis that tumour cells tend to migrate preferentially along the WM.