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Targeting Role of Glioma Stem Cells for Gliobastoma Multiforme

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Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is known to be the most common and lethal malignant primary brain tumor. Despite vigorous basic and clinical studies over the past decades, the prognosis of patients with GBM has remained dismal. The fundamental problem with these malignancies occurs due to tumor cells' highly infiltrative nature, precluding a complete surgical resection, and a productive or acquired resistance to cytotoxic therapy. Recent studies demonstrated that GBMs exhibited remarkable cellular heterogeneity and hierarchy containing self-renewing glioma stem cells (GSCs). The malignant growth of GBM can be propagated and sustained by GSCs that are endowed with highly efficient clonogenic and tumor initiation capacities. GSCs can be identified with technical support and are responsible for the invasive potential and recurrence of GBMs. They share core signaling pathways with normal neural stem cells, but also display critical distinctions that provide important clues for useful therapeutic targets. Therefore, targeting GSCs becomes priorities for the development of novel therapeutic paradigms. Herein, we reviewed the existing and promising targeting therapies for GSCs which could effectively inhibit the tumor invasion, proliferation and recurrence of GBMs. Significant features of GSCs, such as invasive growth pattern, angiogenic potential, resistance to traditional therapy and differentiation, are important therapeutic targets. More promising strategies should target GSCs themselves by taking advantages of highthroughput technologies and dissecting the intrinsic molecular nature of GSCs. Novel chemical medicines targeting these GSCs may represent one of the most important directions. Hopefully, this could shed a light on the path we are going to.

Keywords: CD133; Glioblastoma multiforme; MGMT; antiangiogenisis; cancer stem cell; gene therapy; glioma stem cells; immunotherapy; temozolomide; viral therapy

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-05-01

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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