Brain tumor stem cells as research and treatment targets

Brain Tumor Pathol. 2008;25(2):67-72. doi: 10.1007/s10014-008-0237-5. Epub 2008 Nov 6.


Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is one of the most malignant forms of human cancer. Despite intensive treatment, the mean survival of GBM patients remains about 1 year. Recent cancer studies revealed that cancer tissues are pathologically heterogeneous and only a small population of cells has the specific ability to reinitiate cancer. This small cell population is called cancer stem cells (CSCs); in brain tumors these are known as brain tumor stem cells (BTSCs). The identification of BTSCs yielded new insights into chemo-and radioresistance, by which BTSCs can survive selectively and initiate recurrence. Research focused on BTSCs as treatment targets may contribute to the discovery of new therapeutic strategies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Brain Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Disease Progression
  • Glioblastoma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / drug effects
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / pathology*


  • Antineoplastic Agents