Indexed on: 22 Apr '15Published on: 22 Apr '15Published in: Advances in experimental medicine and biology
Gliomas are primary cancers of the brain and the most lethal cancers known to man. In recent years the discovery of germinal regions in the postnatal brain containing neuronal stem and progenitor cell populations has led to the hypothesis that these cells may themselves serve as an origin of brain tumors. Stem cells that reside within the glioma tumor have been shown to display nonneoplastic stem-like characteristics, including expression of various stem cell markers, as well as capacity for self-renewal and multipotency. Furthermore, glioma tumors display marked similarities to the germinal regions of the brain. Investigations of human neural stem cells and their potential for malignancy may finally identify a cell-of-origin for human gliomas. This, in turn, may facilitate better therapeutic targeting leading to improved prognosis for glioma patients.