Submission Type

Case Report


Introduction: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and aggressive primary malignant brain tumor found in adults. GBM has limited therapeutic options. Initial tumor sampling establishes the histopathologic diagnosis, identifies prognostic and therapeutic biomarkers, and provides an opportunity for molecular profiling. By contrast, the utility of repeat tumor sampling and molecular profiling in recurrent GBM is not well established.

Clinical Findings: We present a 69-year-old woman with GBM whose tumor recurred after standard treatment with temozolomide (TMZ) and concurrent radiation, followed by adjuvant TMZ. This patient had a methylated O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter, which ordinarily predicts a favorable response to TMZ.

Main Diagnosis, Therapeutic Interventions, and Outcomes: Our patient’s recurrent tumor was rechallenged with TMZ based on persistent methylation of the MGMT promoter. However, her tumor was refractory to TMZ, and she floridly progressed through multiple treatments. We performed retrospective molecular profiling using next-generation sequencing (NGS) on her recurrent tumor. The NGS results showed a TMZ hypermutation signature that confers resistance to TMZ. This signature impacted our patient’s treatment plan in real time and prompted an immediate discontinuation of TMZ.

Conclusions: Advances in NGS provide further insight into the molecular landscape of GBM. As NGS becomes more timely and cost-effective, molecular profiling of recurrent tumors could impact treatment decisions through either avoiding a particular treatment paradigm or identifying a potential targetable mutation. For this reason, we suggest that clinical practice routinely consider repeat biopsy and molecular profiling for recurrent GBM.



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