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Molecular Markers of Glial Tumors: Current Targeting Strategies

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Diagnosis and therapy for malignant gliomas represents one of the most challenging problems in clinical oncology. Current treatment of malignant glioma is multimodal, involving surgical resection, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Even with these combined therapies, patients usually die within 1 to 2 years after onset of symptoms. Clearly, improved strategies for selective delivery of therapeutic agents to gliomas are needed to combat these devastating and usually fatal cancers. This review summarizes current knowledge concerning targetable molecular markers on the surface of glial tumor cells and tumor vasculature. Such markers are altered or up-regulated in gliomas compared to normal tissues, or they might be glioma-restricted. These markers include growth factor receptors, cell-surface adhesion molecules, and membrane-type matrix metalloproteinases. Current approaches that utilize growth factor peptides and peptide / antibodies identified via phage display technology as carrier ligands for targeting malignant gliomas are discussed.

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Keywords: brain tumor; fusion toxins; glioma; phage display peptides; targeted delivery; tumor-specific receptors

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: May 1, 2003

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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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