Diagnostic and therapeutic avenues for glioblastoma: no longer a dead end?

Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2013 Jan;10(1):14-26. doi: 10.1038/nrclinonc.2012.204. Epub 2012 Nov 27.


Glioblastomas are heterogeneous neoplasms that are driven by complex signalling pathways, and are among the most aggressive and challenging cancers to treat. Despite standard treatment with resection, radiation and chemotherapy, the prognosis of patients with glioblastomas remains poor. An increasing understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of glioblastomas has stimulated the development of novel therapies, including the use of molecular-targeted agents. Identification and validation of diagnostic, prognostic and predictive biomarkers has led to the advancement of clinical trial design, and identification of glioblastoma subgroups with a more-favourable prognosis and response to therapy. In this Review, we discuss common molecular alterations relevant to the biology of glioblastomas, targeted, antiangiogenic and immunotherapies that have impacted on the treatment of this disease, and the challenges and pitfalls associated with these therapies. In addition, we emphasize current biomarkers relevant to the management of patients with glioblastoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Brain Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Glioblastoma / diagnosis
  • Glioblastoma / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*


  • Antineoplastic Agents