Introduction: Conflicting results have been reported in the association between glioblastoma proximity to the subventricular zone (SVZ) and enrichment of cancer stem cell properties. Here, we examined this hypothesis using magnetic resonance (MR) images derived from 217 The Cancer Imaging Archive (TCIA) glioblastoma subjects. Methods: Pre-operative MR images were segmented automatically into contrast enhancing (CE) tumor volumes using Iterative Probabilistic Voxel Labeling (IPVL). Distances were calculated from the centroid of CE tumor volumes to the SVZ and correlated with gene expression profiles of the corresponding glioblastomas. Correlative analyses were performed between SVZ distance, gene expression patterns, and clinical survival. Results: Glioblastoma located in proximity to the SVZ showed increased mRNA expression patterns associated with the cancer stem-cell state, including CD133 (P = 0.006). Consistent with the previous observations suggesting that glioblastoma stem cells exhibit increased DNA repair capacity, glioblastomas in proximity to the SVZ also showed increased expression of DNA repair genes, including MGMT (P = 0.018). Reflecting this enhanced DNA repair capacity, the genomes of glioblastomas in SVZ proximity harbored fewer single nucleotide polymorphisms relative to those located distant to the SVZ (P = 0.003). Concordant with the notion that glioblastoma stem cells are more aggressive and refractory to therapy, patients with glioblastoma in proximity to SVZ exhibited poorer progression free and overall survival (P < 0.01). Conclusion: An unbiased analysis of TCIA suggests that glioblastomas located in proximity to the SVZ exhibited mRNA expression profiles associated with stem cell properties, increased DNA repair capacity, and is associated with poor clinical survival.
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