Pathway inhibition: emerging molecular targets for treating glioblastoma

Neuro Oncol. 2011 Jun;13(6):566-79. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/nor039.


Insights into the molecular pathogenesis of glioblastoma have not yet resulted in relevant clinical improvement. With standard therapy, which consists of surgical resection with concomitant temozolomide in addition to radiotherapy followed by adjuvant temozolomide, the median duration of survival is 12-14 months. Therefore, the identification of novel molecular targets and inhibitory agents has become a focus of research for glioblastoma treatment. Recent results of bevacizumab may represent a proof of principle that treatment with targeted agents can result in clinical benefits for patients with glioblastoma. This review discusses limitations in the existing therapy for glioblastoma and provides an overview of current efforts to identify molecular targets using large-scale screening of glioblastoma cell lines and tumor samples. We discuss preclinical and clinical data for several novel molecular targets, including growth factor receptors, phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase, SRC-family kinases, integrins, and CD95 ligand and agents that inhibit these targets, including erlotinib, enzastaurin, dasatinib, sorafenib, cilengitide, AMG102, and APG101. By combining advances in tumor screening with novel targeted therapies, it is hoped that new treatment options will emerge for this challenging tumor type.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Glioblastoma / drug therapy*
  • Glioblastoma / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Biomarkers, Tumor