Glioblastoma multiforme: Pathogenesis and treatment

Constantinos Alifieris, Dimitrios T. Trafalis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

564 Scopus citations


Each year, about 5-6 cases out of 100,000 people are diagnosed with primary malignant brain tumors, of which about 80% are malignant gliomas (MGs). Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) accounts for more than half of MG cases. They are associated with high morbidity and mortality. Despite current multimodality treatment efforts including maximal surgical resection if feasible, followed by a combination of radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy, the median survival is short: only about 15 months. A deeper understanding of the pathogenesis of these tumors has presented opportunities for newer therapies to evolve and an expectation of better control of this disease. Lately, efforts have been made to investigate tumor resistance, which results from complex alternate signaling pathways, the existence of glioma stem-cells, the influence of the blood-brain barrier as well as the expression of 06-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase. In this paper, we review up-to-date information on MGs treatment including current approaches, novel drug-delivering strategies, molecular targeted agents and immunomodulative treatments, and discuss future treatment perspectives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-82
Number of pages20
JournalPharmacology and Therapeutics
StatePublished - 29 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Glioblastoma
  • Pharmacology
  • Review
  • Stem cell
  • Targeted therapy
  • Treatment


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