Astrocytic gliomas are the most common primary brain tumors and account for up to two thirds of all tumors of glial origin. In this review we outline the basic histological and epidemiological aspects of the different astrocytoma subtypes in adults. In addition, we summarize the key genetic alterations that have been attributed to astrocytoma patho-genesis and progression. Recent progress has been made by interpreting genetic alterations in a pathway-related context so that they can be directly targeted by the application of specific inhibitors. Also, the first steps have been taken in refining classical histopathological diagnosis by use of molecular predictive markers, for example, MGMT promoter hypermethylation in glioblastomas. Progress in this direction will be additionally accelerated by the employment of high-throughput profiling techniques, such as array-CGH and gene expression profiling. Finally, the tumor stem cell hypothesis has chal lenged our way of understanding astrocytoma biology by emphasizing intratumoral heteroge neity. Novel animal models will provide us with the opportunity to comprehensively study this multilayered disease and explore novel thera peutic approaches in vivo.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Bailey P, Cushing H (1926) A classification of tumors of the glioma group on a histogenetic basis with a correlated study of prognosis. Lippincott, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
- CBTRUS (2005) Statistical Report: Primary Brain Tumors in the United States, 1998–2002. Published by the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United StatesGoogle Scholar
- Eskens FA, Dumez H, Hoekstra R et al. (2003) Phase I and pharmacokinetic study of continuous twice weekly intravenous administration of Cilengitide (EMD 121974), a novel inhibitor of the integrins alphavbeta3 and alphavbeta5 in patients with advanced solid tumours. Eur J Cancer 39:917–926PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Giannini C, Paulus W, Louis DN, Liberski P (2007) Pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma. p.22ff. In: Louis DN, Ohgaki H, Wiestler OD, and Cavenee WK (2007) WHO Classification of Tumours of the Central Nervous System, 3rd edition. IARC Press, Lyon, FranceGoogle Scholar
- Kleihues P, Ohgaki H (1999) Primary and secondary glioblastomas: from concept to clinical diagnosis. Neurooncol 1:44–51Google Scholar
- Knobbe CB, Merlo A, Reifenberger G (2002) Pten signaling in gliomas. Neurooncol 4:196–211Google Scholar
- Louis DN, Ohgaki H, Wiestler OD, Cavenee WK (2007) WHO Classification of Tumours of the Central Nervous System, 3rd edition. IARC Press, Lyon, FranceGoogle Scholar
- Reifenberger G, Reifenberger J, Ichimura K, Meltzer PS, Collins VP (1994) Amplification of multiple genes from chromosomal region 12q13–14 in human malignant gliomas: preliminary mapping of the amplicons shows preferential involvement of CDK4, SAS, and MDM2. Cancer Res 54:4299–4303PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Reifenberger G, Kaulich K, Wiestler OD, Blumcke I (2003) Expression of the CD34 antigen in pleomorphic xanthoastrocytomas. Acta Neuro-pathol (Berl) 105:358–364Google Scholar
- Singh K, Sun S, Vezina C (1979) Rapamycin ( AY-22,989), a new antifungal antibiotic. I V. Mechanism of action. J Antibiot (Tokyo) 32:630–645Google Scholar
- Weber RG, Hoischen A, Ehrler M et al. (2006) Frequent loss of chromosome 9, homozygous CDKN2A/p14(ARF)/CDKN2B deletion and low TSC1 mRNA expression in pleomorphic xan-thoastrocytomas. OncogeneGoogle Scholar