In glioblastoma, the generation of composite genomic profiles from bulk tumor samples has allowed one to map the genomic amplifications of putative genetic drivers and to prioritize therapeutic targeting strategies aimed at eradicating the tumor burden. Notably, amplification of multiple receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK) within a single tumor specimen obtained from patients is frequently observed.
In this study, use of a detailed multicolor FISH mapping procedure in pathologic specimens revealed a mutual exclusivity of gene amplification in the majority of glioblastoma tumors examined.
In particular, the two most commonly amplified RTK genes, EGFR and PDGFRA, were found to be present in variable proportions across the tumors, with one or the other gene predominating in certain areas of the same specimen.
Our findings have profound implications for designing efficacious therapeutic regimens, as it remains unclear that how the cells with different gene amplification events contribute to disease propagation or the response to molecular targeted therapies.