Residual tumor cells remain beyond the margins of every glioblastoma (GBM) resection. Their resistance to postsurgical therapy is considered a major driving force of mortality, but their biology remains largely uncharacterized. In this study, residual tumor cells were derived via experimental biopsy of the resection margin after standard neurosurgery for direct comparison with samples from the routinely resected tumor tissue. In vitro analysis of proliferation, invasion, stem cell qualities, GBM-typical antigens, genotypes, and in vitro drug and irradiation challenge studies revealed these cells as unique entities. Our findings suggest a need for characterization of residual tumor cells to optimize diagnosis and treatment of GBM.