Recently, glioma stem cells have been identified as the main cause of glioma propagation and recurrence and a number of several cell markers have been indicated as putative GSC markers. In the present work, a retrospective study to evaluate the prognostic potential of ability to generate GSCs in our series of 15 glioblastoma patients is described. β-tubulin III, nestin, CD133, GFAP, and SOX-2 marker expression, both in primary GBM cultures and in respective glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs), was evaluated by flow cytometric analysis. Our results demonstrated various expression levels of these markers in both cell cultures; of note, only those cells expressing SOX-2 at greater than 30% levels were able to produce in vitro neurospheres. Moreover, statistical analysis revealed that the GSCs generation negatively affected overall survival (OS) (P = 0.000) and progression-free survival (PFS) (P = 0.001). In addition, a very poor OS (P = 0.000) and PFS (P = 0.000) were observed among patients whose tumors expressed Ki67, evaluated by immunohistochemistry, and showed the ability to generate in vitro GSCs. Overall, the results suggest that in vitro GSCs generation associated to the expression of Ki67 and SOX-2 may be useful to identify patients at risk of disease progression
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