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Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 74, Issue 13, pp 2451–2466 | Cite as

On glioblastoma and the search for a cure: where do we stand?

  • John BiancoEmail author
  • Chiara Bastiancich
  • Aleksander Jankovski
  • Anne des Rieux
  • Véronique PréatEmail author
  • Fabienne Danhier
Review

Abstract

Although brain tumours have been documented and recorded since the nineteenth century, 2016 marked 90 years since Percival Bailey and Harvey Cushing coined the term “glioblastoma multiforme”. Since that time, although extensive developments in diagnosis and treatment have been made, relatively little improvement on prognosis has been achieved. The resilience of GBM thus makes treating this tumour one of the biggest challenges currently faced by neuro-oncology. Aggressive and robust development, coupled with difficulties of complete resection, drug delivery and therapeutic resistance to treatment are some of the main issues that this nemesis presents today. Current treatments are far from satisfactory with poor prognosis, and focus on palliative management rather than curative intervention. However, therapeutic research leading to developments in novel treatment stratagems show promise in combating this disease. Here we present a review on GBM, looking at the history and advances which have shaped neurosurgery over the last century that cumulate to the present day management of GBM, while also exploring future perspectives in treatment options that could lead to new treatments on the road to a cure.

Keywords

Glioblastoma multiforme Therapeutic resistance Drug delivery Cancer stem cells 

Abbreviations

BBB

Blood brain barrier

BCNU

Carmustine

CCNU

Lomustine

CED

Convection enhanced delivery

CNS

Central nervous system

CSCs

Cancer Stem Cells

DNA

Deoxyribonucleic acid

EGFR

Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor

FDA

US Food and Drug Administration

GBM

Glioblastoma

MGMT

O 6-methylguanine-DNA-methyltransferase

MRI

Magnetic resonance imaging

PARP

Poly ADP ribose polymerase

PARPis

Poly ADP ribose polymerase inhibitors

p53

Tumour suppressor protein 53

RT

Radiotherapy

siRNA

Small interfering Ribonucleic Acid

TMZ

Temozolomide

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors are recipients of subsidies from the Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS), the Fonds Spéciaux de Recherche Scientifique (FSR, UCL), as well as the BEWARE Academia Programme (COFUND). The authors would also like to thank Professor Samuel H. Greenblatt for personal communication.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Louvain Drug Research Institute, Advanced Drug Delivery and BiomaterialsUniversité catholique de LouvainBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Institute of NeuroscienceUniversité catholique de LouvainBrusselsBelgium
  3. 3.Department of NeurosurgeryCHU UCL NamurYvoirBelgium
  4. 4.Institute of Condensed Matter and NanosciencesUniversité catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium

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