bims-malgli Biomed News
on Biology of malignant gliomas
Issue of 2022‒03‒27
nineteen papers selected by
Oltea Sampetrean
Keio University

  1. Neuro Oncol. 2022 Mar 23. pii: noac055. [Epub ahead of print]
      The brain tumor microenvironment contains numerous distinct types of nonneoplastic cells, which each serve a diverse set of roles relevant to the formation, maintenance, and progression of these central nervous system cancers. While varying in frequencies, monocytes (macrophages, microglia, and myeloid-derived suppressor cells), dendritic cells, natural killer cells, and T lymphocytes represent the most common nonneoplastic cellular constituents in low- and high-grade gliomas (astrocytomas). Although T cells are conventionally thought to target and eliminate neoplastic cells, T cells also exist in other states, characterized by tolerance, ignorance, anergy, and exhaustion. In addition, T cells can function as drivers of brain cancer growth, especially in low-grade gliomas. Since T cells originate in the blood and bone marrow sinuses, their capacity to function as both positive and negative regulators of glioma growth has ignited renewed interest in their deployment as immunotherapeutic agents. In this review, we discuss the roles of T cells in low- and high-grade glioma formation and progression, as well as the potential uses of modified T lymphocytes for brain cancer therapeutics.
    Keywords:  T cells; astrocytoma; glioblastoma; gliomagenesis; microglia; pediatric low-grade glioma; tumor microenvironment; tumor-associated monocytes
  2. Neuro Oncol. 2022 Mar 22. pii: noac076. [Epub ahead of print]
    Keywords:  biopsy; ctDNA; diffuse midline glioma; disease surveillance
  3. Glia. 2022 Mar 24.
      High-grade gliomas constitute the most frequent and aggressive form of primary brain cancer in adults. These tumors express cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors, as well as other elements of the endocannabinoid system. Accruing preclinical evidence supports that pharmacological activation of cannabinoid receptors located on glioma cells exerts overt anti-tumoral effects by modulating key intracellular signaling pathways. The mechanism of this cannabinoid receptor-evoked anti-tumoral activity in experimental models of glioma is intricate and may involve an inhibition not only of cancer cell survival/proliferation, but also of invasiveness, angiogenesis, and the stem cell-like properties of cancer cells, thereby affecting the complex tumor microenvironment. However, the precise biological role of the endocannabinoid system in the generation and progression of glioma seems very context-dependent and remains largely unknown. Increasing our basic knowledge on how (endo)cannabinoids act on glioma cells could help to optimize experimental cannabinoid-based anti-tumoral therapies, as well as the preliminary clinical testing that is currently underway.
    Keywords:  G protein-coupled receptor; anti-tumoral therapy; apoptosis; cannabinoid; glioma; metabolism; tumor microenvironment
  4. Neuro Oncol. 2022 Mar 22. pii: noac074. [Epub ahead of print]
  5. Neuro Oncol. 2022 Mar 21. pii: noac071. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: Targeting GBM energy metabolism through multiple metabolic pathways has emerged as an effective therapeutic approach. Dual inhibition of phospholipid and mitochondrial metabolism with cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2) knockdown and metformin treatment could be a potential strategy. However, the strategic prerequisite is to explore a carrier capable of co-delivering the therapeutic combination to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and preferentially accumulate at the GBM site.METHODS: Blood exosomes (Exos) were selected as the combination delivery carriers. The cellular uptake of Exos and the therapeutic effects of the combination strategy were evaluated in primary GBM cells. In vivo GBM-targeted delivery efficiency and anti-GBM efficacy were tested in a patient-derived xenograft model.
    RESULTS: Here, we showed that the Exos-mediated cPLA2 siRNA/metformin combined strategy could regulate GBM energy metabolism for personalized treatment. Genomic analysis and experiments showed that polymerase 1 and transcript release factor (PTRF, a biomarker of GBM) positively regulated the uptake of Exos by GBM cells, confirming the feasibility of the delivery strategy. Further, Exos could co-load cPLA2 siRNA (sicPLA2) and metformin and co-deliver them across the BBB and into GBM tissue. The mitochondrial energy metabolism of GBM was impaired with this combination treatment (Exos-Met/sicPLA2). In the patient-derived xenograft GBM model, systemic administration of Exos-Met/sicPLA2 reduced tumor growth and prolonged survival.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrated that Exos-based combined delivery of sicPLA2 and metformin selectively targeted the GBM energy metabolism to achieve antitumor effects, showing its potential as a personalized therapy for GBM patients.
    Keywords:  Glioblastoma; blood exosomes; cPLA2; energy metabolism; metformin
  6. Cancers (Basel). 2022 Mar 11. pii: 1449. [Epub ahead of print]14(6):
      BACKGROUND: 5-Aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) is widely employed to assist fluorescence-guided surgery for malignant brain tumors. Positron emission tomography with 11C-methionine (MET-PET) represents the activity of brain tumors with precise boundaries but is not readily available. We hypothesized that quantitative 5-ALA-induced fluorescence intensity might correlate with MET-PET uptake in gliomas.METHODS: Adult patients with supratentorial astrocytic gliomas who underwent preoperative MET-PET and surgical tumor resection using 5-ALA were enrolled in this prospective study. The regional tumor uptake of MET-PET was expressed as the ratio of standardized uptake volume max to that of the normal contralateral frontal lobe. A spectrometric fluorescence detection system measured tumor specimens' ex vivo fluorescence intensity at 635 nm. Ki-67 index and IDH mutation status were assessed by histopathological analysis. Use of an antiepileptic drug (AED) and contrast enhancement pattern on MRI were also investigated.
    RESULTS: Thirty-two patients, mostly with Glioblastoma IDH wild type (46.9%) and anaplastic astrocytoma IDH mutant (21.9%), were analyzed. When the fluorescence intensity was ranked into four groups, the strongest fluorescence group exhibited the highest mean MET-PET uptake and Ki-67 index values. When rearranged into fluorescence Visible or Non-visible groups, the Visible group had significantly higher MET-PET uptake and Ki-67 index compared to the Non-visible group. Contrast enhancement on MRI and IDH wild type tumors were more frequent among the Visible group. AED use did not correlate with 5-ALA-induced fluorescence intensity.
    CONCLUSIONS: In astrocytic glioma surgery, visible 5-ALA-induced fluorescence correlated with high MET-PET uptake, along with a high Ki-67 index.
    Keywords:  5-ALA; 5-aminolevulinic acid; MET-PET; glioblastoma; glioma
  7. Oncogene. 2022 Mar 25.
      Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most aggressive primary brain tumor as one of the deadliest cancers. The TGF-β signaling acts as an oncogenic factor in GBM, and plays vital roles in development of GBM. SMAD7 is a major inhibitor of TGF-β signaling, while the deubiquitination of SMAD7 has been poorly studied in GBM. Here, we found USP2 as a new prominent candidate that could regulate SMAD7 stability. USP2 was lost in GBM, leading to the poor prognosis in patients. Moreover, aberrant DNA methylation mediated by DNMT3A induced the low expression of USP2 in GBM. USP2 depletion induced TGF-β signaling and progression of GBM. In contrast, overexpressed USP2 suppressed TGF-β signaling and GBM development. Specifically, USP2 interacted with SMAD7 and prevented SMAD7 ubiquitination. USP2 directly cleaved Lys27- and Lys48-linked poly-ubiquitin chains of SMAD7, and Lys27-linked poly-ubiquitin chains of SMAD7 K185 mediated the recruitment of SMAD7 to HERC3, which regulated Lys63-linked poly-ubiquitination of SMAD7. Moreover, we demonstrated that the DNMT3A inhibitor SGI-1027 induced USP2, suppressed TGF-β signaling and GBM development. Thus, USP2 repressed development of GBM by inhibition TGF-β signaling pathway via the deubiquitination of SMAD7.
  8. Neuro Oncol. 2022 Mar 22. pii: noac078. [Epub ahead of print]
  9. Neuro Oncol. 2022 Mar 23. pii: noac080. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: Heterozygous TERT (Telomerase reverse transcriptase) promoter mutations (TPMs) facilitate TERT expression and are the most frequent mutation in glioblastoma (GBM). A recent analysis revealed this mutation is one of the earliest events in gliomagenesis. However, no appropriate human models have been engineered to study the role of this mutation in the initiation of these tumors.METHOD: We established GBM models by introducing the heterozygous TPM in human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) using a two-step targeting approach in the context of GBM genetic alterations, CDKN2A/B and PTEN deletion, and EGFRvIII overexpression. The impact of the mutation was evaluated through the in vivo passage and in vitro experiment and analysis.
    RESULTS: Orthotopic injection of neuronal precursor cells (NPCs) derived from hiPSCs with the TPM into immunodeficient mice did not enhance tumorigenesis compared to TERT promoter wild type NPCs at initial in vivo passage presumably due to relatively long telomeres. However, the mutation recruited GA-Binding Protein and engendered low-level TERT expression resulting in enhanced tumorigenesis and maintenance of short telomeres upon secondary passage as observed in human GBM. These results provide the first insights regarding increased tumorigenesis upon introducing a TPM compared to isogenic controls without TPMs.
    CONCLUSION: Our novel GBM models presented the growth advantage of heterozygous TPMs for the first time in the context of GBM driver mutations relative to isogenic controls, thereby allowing for the identification and validation of TERT promoter-specific vulnerabilities in a genetically accurate background.
    Keywords:   TERT promoter; genome editing; glioma; neural progenitor cell; telomerase
  10. Nat Commun. 2022 Mar 21. 13(1): 1511
      Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) remains the top challenge to radiotherapy with only 25% one-year survival after diagnosis. Here, we reveal that co-enhancement of mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation (FAO) enzymes (CPT1A, CPT2 and ACAD9) and immune checkpoint CD47 is dominant in recurrent GBM patients with poor prognosis. A glycolysis-to-FAO metabolic rewiring is associated with CD47 anti-phagocytosis in radioresistant GBM cells and regrown GBM after radiation in syngeneic mice. Inhibition of FAO by CPT1 inhibitor etomoxir or CRISPR-generated CPT1A-/-, CPT2-/-, ACAD9-/- cells demonstrate that FAO-derived acetyl-CoA upregulates CD47 transcription via NF-κB/RelA acetylation. Blocking FAO impairs tumor growth and reduces CD47 anti-phagocytosis. Etomoxir combined with anti-CD47 antibody synergizes radiation control of regrown tumors with boosted macrophage phagocytosis. These results demonstrate that enhanced fat acid metabolism promotes aggressive growth of GBM with CD47-mediated immune evasion. The FAO-CD47 axis may be targeted to improve GBM control by eliminating the radioresistant phagocytosis-proofing tumor cells in GBM radioimmunotherapy.
  11. Cell Death Differ. 2022 Mar 24.
      Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and aggressive form of brain cancer, with treatment options often constrained due to inherent resistance of malignant cells to conventional therapy. We investigated the impact of triggering programmed cell death (PCD) by using BH3 mimetic drugs in human GBM cell lines. We demonstrate that co-targeting the pro-survival proteins BCL-XL and MCL-1 was more potent at killing six GBM cell lines compared to conventional therapy with Temozolomide or the bromodomain inhibitor JQ1 in vitro. Enhanced cell killing was observed in U251 and SNB-19 cells in response to dual treatment with TMZ or JQ1 combined with a BCL-XL inhibitor, compared to single agent treatment. This was reflected in abundant cleavage/activation of caspase-3 and cleavage of PARP1, markers of apoptosis. U251 and SNB-19 cells were more readily killed by a combination of BH3 mimetics targeting BCL-XL and MCL-1 as opposed to dual treatment with the BCL-2 inhibitor Venetoclax and a BCL-XL inhibitor. The combined loss of BAX and BAK, the essential executioners of intrinsic apoptosis, rendered U251 and SNB-19 cells refractory to any of the drug combinations tested, demonstrating that apoptosis is responsible for their killing. In an orthotopic mouse model of GBM, we demonstrate that the BCL-XL inhibitor A1331852 can penetrate the brain, with A1331852 detected in both tumour and healthy brain regions. We also investigated the impact of combining small molecule inducers of ferroptosis, erastin and RSL3, with BH3 mimetic drugs. We found that a BCL-XL or an MCL-1 inhibitor potently cooperates with inducers of ferroptosis in killing U251 cells. Overall, these findings demonstrate the potential of dual targeting of distinct PCD signalling pathways in GBM and may guide the utility of BCL-XL inhibitors and inducers of ferroptosis with standard of care treatment for improved therapies for GBM.
  12. Cancers (Basel). 2022 Mar 08. pii: 1382. [Epub ahead of print]14(6):
      Alpha-synuclein (α-syn) is a protein considered to be detrimental in a number of degenerative disorders (synucleinopathies) of which α-syn aggregates are considered a pathological hallmark. The clearance of α-syn strongly depends on autophagy, which can be stimulated by inhibiting the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR). Thus, the overexpression of mTOR and severe autophagy suppression may produce α-syn accumulation, including the proteinase K-resistant protein isoform. Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a lethal brain tumor that features mTOR overexpression and severe autophagy inhibition. Cell pathology in GBM is reminiscent of a fast, progressive degenerative disorder. Therefore, the present work questions whether, as is analogous to neurons during degenerative disorders, an overexpression of α-syn occurs within GBM cells. A high amount of α-syn was documented in GBM cells via real-time PCR (RT-PCR), Western blotting, immunohistochemistry, immuno-fluorescence, and ultrastructural stoichiometry, compared with the amount of β- and γ-synucleins and compared with the amount of α-syn counted within astrocytes. The present study indicates that (i) α-syn is overexpressed in GBM cells, (ii) α-syn expression includes a proteinase-K resistant isoform, (iii) α-syn is dispersed from autophagy-like vacuoles to the cytosol, (iv) α-syn overexpression and cytosol dispersion are mitigated by rapamycin, and (v) the α-syn-related GBM-like phenotype is mitigated by silencing the SNCA gene.
    Keywords:  autophagy vacuoles; cell-clearing systems; glioblastoma multiforme; mechanistic target of rapamycin; qRT-PCR; siRNA; synucleins; transmission electron microscopy
  13. Cancers (Basel). 2022 Mar 15. pii: 1499. [Epub ahead of print]14(6):
      Glioblastoma is a lethal brain cancer that commonly recurs after tumor resection and chemotherapy treatment. Depolarized resting membrane potentials and an acidic intertumoral extracellular pH have been associated with a proliferative state and drug resistance, suggesting that forced hyperpolarization and disruption of proton pumps in the plasma membrane could be a successful strategy for targeting glioblastoma overgrowth. We screened 47 compounds and compound combinations, most of which were ion-modulating, at different concentrations in the NG108-15 rodent neuroblastoma/glioma cell line. A subset of these were tested in the U87 human glioblastoma cell line. A FUCCI cell cycle reporter was stably integrated into both cell lines to monitor proliferation and cell cycle response. Immunocytochemistry, electrophysiology, and a panel of physiological dyes reporting voltage, calcium, and pH were used to characterize responses. The most effective treatments on proliferation in U87 cells were combinations of NS1643 and pantoprazole; retigabine and pantoprazole; and pantoprazole or NS1643 with temozolomide. Marker analysis and physiological dye signatures suggest that exposure to bioelectric drugs significantly reduces proliferation, makes the cells senescent, and promotes differentiation. These results, along with the observed low toxicity in human neurons, show the high efficacy of electroceuticals utilizing combinations of repurposed FDA approved drugs.
    Keywords:  NG108-15; U89; blockers; cancer; glioblastoma; ion channel; openers
  14. Neuro Oncol. 2022 Mar 19. pii: noac067. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: Neddylation inhibition, affecting posttranslational protein function and turnover, is a promising therapeutic approach to cancer. We report vulnerability to MLN4924 or pevonedistat (a neddylation inhibitor) in a subset of glioblastoma (GBM) preclinical models and identify biomarkers, mechanisms, and signatures of differential response.METHODS: GBM sequencing data was queried for genes associated with MLN4924 response status; candidates were validated by molecular techniques. Time-course transcriptomics and proteomics revealed processes implicated in MLN4924 response.
    RESULTS: Vulnerability to MLN4924 is associated with elevated S-phase populations, re-replication, and DNA damage. Transcriptomics and shotgun proteomics depict PTEN signaling, DNA replication, and chromatin instability pathways as significant differentiators between sensitive and resistant models. Loss of PTEN and its nuclear functions is associated with resistance to MLN4924. Time-course proteomics identified elevated TOP2A in resistant models through treatment. TOP2A inhibitors combined with MLN4924 prove synergistic.
    CONCLUSIONS: We show that PTEN status serves as both a novel biomarker for MLN4924 response in GBM and reveals a vulnerability to TOP2A inhibitors in combination with MLN4924.
    Keywords:  DNA Replication; Glioblastoma (GBM); Multi-Omics; Neddylation; PTEN
  15. JCI Insight. 2022 Mar 22. pii: e157612. [Epub ahead of print]
      INTRODUCTION: Immune cell profiling of primary and metastatic central nervous system (CNS) tumors has been focused on the tumor, not the tumor microenvironment (TME), or have been analyzed via biopsies.METHODS: En bloc resections of glioma (n=10) and lung metastasis (n=10) underwent tissue segmentation and high dimension opal 7-color multiplex imaging. Single cell RNA analyses inferred immune cell functionality.
    RESULTS: Within gliomas, T cells were localized to the infiltrating edge and perivascular space of tumors, while residing mostly in the stroma of metastatic tumors. CD163+ macrophages were evident throughout the TME of metastatic tumors, whereas in gliomas, CD68+, CD11c+CD68+, and CD11c+CD68+CD163+ cell subtypes, were commonly observed. In lung metastases, T cells interact with CD163+ macrophages as dyads and clusters at the brain-tumor interface and within the tumor itself, and as clusters within the necrotic core. In contrast, gliomas typically lack dyad and cluster interactions, except for T cell-CD68+cell dyads within the tumor. Analysis of transcriptomic data in glioblastomas revealed that innate immune cells express both pro-inflammatory and immune suppressive gene signatures.
    CONCLUSION: Our results show that immunosuppressive macrophages are abundant within the TME, and that the immune cell interactome between cancer lineages is distinct. Further, these data provide information for evaluating the role of different immune cell populations in brain tumor growth and therapeutic responses.
    Keywords:  Brain cancer; Immunology; Innate immunity; Oncology; T cells
  16. Clin Cancer Res. 2022 Mar 21. pii: clincanres.4011.2021. [Epub ahead of print]
      PURPOSE: Despite optimal local therapy, tumor cell invasion into normal brain parenchyma frequently results in recurrence in patients with solid tumors. The aim of this study was to determine whether microvascular inflammation can be targeted to better delineate the tumor-brain interface through vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1)-targeted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).METHODS: Intracerebral xenograft rat models of MDA231Br-GFP (breast cancer) brain metastasis and U87MG (glioblastoma) were used to histologically examine the tumor-brain interface and to test the efficacy of VCAM-1-targeted MRI in detecting this region. Human biopsy samples of the brain metastasis and glioblastoma margins were examined for endothelial VCAM-1 expression.
    RESULTS: The interface between tumor and surrounding normal brain tissue exhibited elevated endothelial VCAM-1 expression and increased microvessel density. Tumor proliferation and stemness markers were also significantly upregulated at the tumor rim in the brain metastasis model. T2*-weighted MRI, following intravenous administration of VCAM-MPIO, highlighted the tumor-brain interface of both tumor models more extensively than gadolinium-DTPA-enhanced T1-weighted MRI. Sites of VCAM-MPIO binding, evident as hypointense signals on MR images, correlated spatially with endothelial VCAM-1 upregulation and bound VCAM-MPIO beads detected histologically. These findings were further validated in an orthotopic medulloblastoma model. Finally, the tumor-brain interface in human brain metastasis and glioblastoma samples was similarly characterized by microvascular inflammation, extending beyond the region detectable using conventional MRI.
    CONCLUSION: This work illustrates the potential of VCAM-1 targeted MRI for improved delineation of the tumor-brain interface in both primary and secondary brain tumors.
  17. Neuro Oncol. 2022 Mar 21. pii: noac070. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: Myelosuppression is the major toxicity encountered during temozolomide chemoradiotherapy for newly diagnosed glioblastoma.METHODS: We assessed the association of myelosuppression (neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, anemia, lymphopenia) during temozolomide chemoradiotherapy alone or in combination with experimental agents with progression-free survival (PFS) or overall survival (OS) in 2073 patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma enrolled into five clinical trials: CENTRIC, CORE, EORTC 26082, AVAglio, and EORTC 26981. A landmark Cox model was used. For each primary association analysis, a significance level of 1.7% was used.
    RESULTS: Lower neutrophil counts at baseline were associated with better PFS (p=0.011) and OS (p<0.001), independently of steroid intake. Females experienced uniformly more myelotoxicity than males. Lymphopenia during concomitant chemoradiotherapy was associated with OS (p=0.009): low-grade (1-2) lymphopenia might be associated with superior OS (HR 0.78, 98.3% CI 0.58-1.06) whereas high-grade (3-4) lymphopenia might be associated with inferior OS (HR 1.08, 98.3% CI 0.75-1.54). There were no associations of altered hematological parameters during concomitant chemoradiotherapy with PFS. During maintenance chemoradiotherapy, no significant association was found between any parameter of myelosuppression and PFS or OS, although exploratory analysis at 5% significance level indicated that either mild-to-moderate (HR 0.76, 95% CI 0.62-0.93) or high-grade lymphopenia (HR 0.65, 95% CI 0.46-0.92) were associated with superior OS (p=0.013), but not PFS.
    CONCLUSIONS: The association of higher neutrophil counts at baseline with inferior PFS and OS requires further prospective evaluation. The link of therapy-induced lymphopenia to better outcome may guide the design for immunotherapy trials in newly diagnosed glioblastoma.
    Keywords:  anemia; chemoradiotherapy; lymphopenia; neutropenia; progression; survival; temozolomide; thrombocytopenia
  18. Neurooncol Adv. 2022 Jan-Dec;4(1):4(1): vdac024
      Background: Diagnostic delays impact the quality of life and survival of patients with brain tumors. Earlier and expeditious diagnoses in these patients are crucial to reduce the morbidities and mortalities associated with brain tumors. A simple, rapid blood test that can be administered easily in a primary care setting to efficiently identify symptomatic patients who are most likely to have a brain tumor would enable quicker referral to brain imaging for those who need it most.Methods: Blood serum samples from 603 patients were prospectively collected and analyzed. Patients either had non-specific symptoms that could be indicative of a brain tumor on presentation to the Emergency Department, or a new brain tumor diagnosis and referral to the neurosurgical unit, NHS Lothian, Scotland. Patient blood serum samples were analyzed using the Dxcover® Brain Cancer liquid biopsy. This technology utilizes infrared spectroscopy combined with a diagnostic algorithm to predict the presence of intracranial disease.
    Results: Our liquid biopsy approach reported an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.8. The sensitivity-tuned model achieves a 96% sensitivity with 45% specificity (NPV 99.3%) and identified 100% of glioblastoma multiforme patients. When tuned for a higher specificity, the model yields a sensitivity of 47% with 90% specificity (PPV 28.4%).
    Conclusions: This simple, non-invasive blood test facilitates the triage and radiographic diagnosis of brain tumor patients while providing reassurance to healthy patients. Minimizing time to diagnosis would facilitate the identification of brain tumor patients at an earlier stage, enabling more effective, less morbid surgical and adjuvant care.
    Keywords:  brain cancer; clinical spectroscopy; earlier detection; infrared; liquid biopsy
  19. Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2022 Mar 24. 10(1): 39
      Elderly patients represent a growing proportion of individuals with glioblastoma, who however, are often excluded from clinical trials owing to poor expected prognosis. We aimed at identifying age-related molecular differences that would justify and guide distinct treatment decisions in elderly glioblastoma patients. The combined DNA methylome (450 k) of four IDH wild-type glioblastoma datasets, comprising two clinical trial cohorts, was interrogated for differences based on the patients' age, DNA methylation (DNAm) age acceleration (DNAm age "Horvath-clock" minus patient age), DNA methylation-based tumor classification (Heidelberg), entropy, and functional methylation of DNA damage response (DDR) genes. Age dependent methylation included 19 CpGs (p-value ≤ 0.1, Bonferroni corrected), comprising a CpG located in the ELOVL2 gene that is part of a 13-gene forensic age predictor. Most of the age related CpGs (n = 16) were also associated with age acceleration that itself was associated with a large number of CpGs (n = 50,551). Over 70% age acceleration-associated CpGs (n = 36,348) overlapped with those associated with the DNA methylation based tumor classification (n = 170,759). Gene set enrichment analysis identified associated pathways, providing insights into the biology of DNAm age acceleration and respective commonalities with glioblastoma classification. Functional methylation of several DDR genes, defined as correlation of methylation with gene expression (r ≤ -0.3), was associated with age acceleration (n = 8), tumor classification (n = 12), or both (n = 4), the latter including MGMT. DNAm age acceleration was significantly associated with better outcome in both clinical trial cohorts, whereof one comprised only elderly patients. Multivariate analysis included treatment (RT, RT/TMZ→TMZ; TMZ, RT), MGMT promoter methylation status, and interaction with treatment. In conclusion, DNA methylation features of age acceleration are an integrative part of the methylation-based tumor classification (RTK I, RTK II, MES), while patient age seems hardly reflected in the glioblastoma DNA methylome. We found no molecular evidence justifying other treatments in elderly patients, not owing to frailty or co-morbidities.
    Keywords:  Age; DNA methylation age acceleration; Glioblastoma IDHwt; Methylome; Survival