Functional connectivity within glioblastoma impacts overall survival

Andy G.S. Daniel, Ki Yun Park, Jarod L. Roland, Donna Dierker, James Gross, Joseph B. Humphries, Carl D. Hacker, Abraham Z. Snyder, Joshua S. Shimony, Eric C. Leuthardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Glioblastoma (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. Methods: We 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. Results: Fifty-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. Conclusions: These 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-421
Number of pages10
JournalNeuro-oncology
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

Keywords

  • FC
  • functional MRI
  • glioblastoma
  • glioma
  • resting state

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