Radiation-induced alterations in the recurrent glioblastoma microenvironment: Therapeutic implications

Kshama Gupta, Terry C. Burns

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Glioblastoma (GBM) is uniformly fatal with a median survival of just over 1 year, despite best available treatment including radiotherapy (RT). Impacts of prior brain RT on recurrent tumors are poorly understood, though increasing evidence suggests RT-induced changes in the brain microenvironment contribute to recurrent GBM aggressiveness. The tumor microenvironment impacts malignant cells directly and indirectly through stromal cells that support tumor growth. Changes in extracellular matrix (ECM), abnormal vasculature, hypoxia, and inflammation have been reported to promote tumor aggressiveness that could be exacerbated by prior RT. Prior radiation may have long-term impacts on microglia and brain-infiltrating monocytes, leading to lasting alterations in cytokine signaling and ECM. Tumor-promoting CNS injury responses are recapitulated in the tumor microenvironment and augmented following prior radiation, impacting cell phenotype, proliferation, and infiltration in the CNS. Since RT is vital to GBM management, but substantially alters the tumor microenvironment, we here review challenges, knowledge gaps, and therapeutic opportunities relevant to targeting pro-tumorigenic features of the GBM microenvironment. We suggest that insights from RT-induced changes in the tumor microenvironment may provide opportunities to target mechanisms, such as cellular senescence, that may promote GBM aggressiveness amplified in previously radiated microenvironment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number503
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Issue numberNOV
StatePublished - 2018


  • Extracellular matrix
  • Glioblastoma
  • Radiotherapy
  • Recurrence
  • Tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Radiation-induced alterations in the recurrent glioblastoma microenvironment: Therapeutic implications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this