Public databases of the Cancer Genome Anatomy Project were used to quantify the relative gene expression levels in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and normal brain by Serial Analysis of Gene Expression (SAGE). Analysis revealed HC gp-39 among the genes with the most pronounced changes of expression in tumor cells. Northern hybridization confirmed the results of computer analysis and showed that enhanced expression of the HC gp-39 gene was mainly in GBMs and occasionally in anaplastic astrocytomas. Neither SAGE nor Northern analysis revealed the presence of HC gp-39 mRNA in the glioblastoma cell line, thus the detection of increased quantities of this mRNA in GBMs may be associated with activated macrophages. Since the numbers of infiltrating macrophages and small vessel density are higher in glioblastomas than in anaplastic astrocytomas or astrocytomas, the HC gp-39 gene can be used as a molecular marker in the analysis of malignant progression of astrocytic gliomas.