PURPOSE Gliomas are life-threatening brain tumors, and the extent of surgical resection is one of the strongest influences on survival rate. However, the proper distinction of infiltrated tissue remains elusive. The aim of this study was to use multimodal analyses to demarcate peritumoral tissue (PT) from tumoral (TT) and healthy tissue (HT). METHODS A total of 40 patients with histologically confirmed glioma were recruited. We analyzed resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) using the voxel-based mean blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signal and the corresponding structural MRI (s-MRI) alongside RNA sequencing, whole-exome sequencing, and histology results of biopsy samples obtained from PT, HT, and TT. RESULTS We demarcated a functionally defined PT area where the mean BOLD signal gradually decreased near the edge of the tumor and extended beyond the TT borders (as defined by s-MRI), which was confirmed on a case-by-case basis. Correspondingly, genetic analyses showed a gene expression pattern and mutational landscape of the PT that were distinct from that seen in HT and TT. The genetic characterization of PT relative to HT and TT converged with the MRI-defined PT zones. This was confirmed in three individual cases after additional histologic analysis. A wider PT was associated with a longer progression-free survival, which suggests PT might act as an intermediate area between TT and HT. CONCLUSION Combined multimodal imaging and genetic analyses can allow for an objective demarcation of the PT in glioma and a robust classification of the degree of infiltration of the PT. These findings could help improve both neurosurgical resection and radio-oncologic therapy.
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