Glioblastoma is the most common, aggressive and lethal brain tumor in adults. However, current therapeutic protocols have low success rates, and average overall survival is less than 15 months. The resistance to therapy is largely a result of the remarkable cellular and phenotypical heterogeneity that characterizes this type of tumor. The discovery of a subpopulation of cells exhibiting stem cell properties within the tumor bulk has profound implications for therapy as increasing evidence indicates that these cells, glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs), are responsible for the origin, maintenance and recurrence of the glioblastomas. These findings highlight the need to characterize GSCs in order to find novel treatments directly targeted specifically against them. In this chapter, we summarize the current knowledge regarding this issue, including some recent and relevant patents.
Keywords: Antiangiogenic therapy, cancer stem cell, chemoresistance, differentiation therapy, glioblastoma multiforme, glioblastoma stem cell, glioma, metastasis, molecular target, neural stem cell, neurogenesis, patent, radioresistance, radiosensitizing therapy, stem marker, tumorigenicity, tumor recurrence, virotherapy, temozolomide.