Research ArticleCancer

Hematogenous dissemination of glioblastoma multiforme

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Science Translational Medicine  30 Jul 2014:
Vol. 6, Issue 247, pp. 247ra101
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3009095

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Circulating Brain Tumor Cells

Glioblastoma multiforme is an aggressive brain tumor that is most common in adults. It was generally thought that glioblastoma could not metastasize outside the central nervous system, and patients were even allowed to serve as organ donors. However, some reports of glioblastoma transmission through transplanted organs prompted researchers to reconsider this idea. Now, Müller et al. report that about 20% of glioblastoma patients have circulating tumor cells in their blood, suggesting that these patients should not serve as organ donors and offering new insights into the biology of this generally incurable disease.