Molecularly targeted therapies for glioma

Ann Neurol. 2009 Dec;66(6):717-29. doi: 10.1002/ana.21793.


Over the past decade, molecularly targeted therapies have been added to cytotoxic and antiendocrine drugs in the treatment of cancer, with the aim of targeting the molecular pathways that underlie the carcinogenic process and maintain the cancer phenotype. Success with some of these agents has suggested that identification and validation of drug targets is the starting point for the development of active, safe, and effective drugs. The main molecular targets used to develop anticancer drugs are cell surface receptors, signal transduction pathways, gene transcription targets, ubiquitin-proteasome/heat shock proteins, and tumor microenvironment components. Here, we review the development of the main molecularly targeted noncytotoxic agents studied in glioma, highlighting lessons derived from the development of these novel drugs and proposing new horizons for the clinical development of molecularly targeted therapies.

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / pharmacology
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Brain Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Brain Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Glioma / genetics*
  • Glioma / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Isosorbide Dinitrate / analogs & derivatives
  • Isosorbide Dinitrate / therapeutic use
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / genetics


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Isosorbide Dinitrate
  • isosorbide-5-mononitrate