Glioblastoma, cancer stem cells and hypoxia

Brain Pathol. 2011 Mar;21(2):119-29. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3639.2010.00460.x. Epub 2010 Nov 30.


Glioblastoma (GBM) prognosis remains dismal, with most patients succumbing to disease within 1 or 2 years of diagnosis. Recent studies have suggested that many solid tumors, including GBM, are maintained by a subset of cells termed cancer stem cells (CSCs). It has been shown that these cells are inherently radio- and chemotherapy resistant, and may be maintained in vivo in a niche characterized by reduced oxygen tension (hypoxia). This review examines the recently described effects of hypoxia on CSC in GBM, and the potential promise in targeting the hypoxic pathway therapeutically.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cell Hypoxia
  • Glioblastoma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / pathology*