Emerging therapies for malignant glioma

Rimas V. Lukas, Adrienne Boire, M. Kelly Nicholas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The current standard of care for malignant gliomas consists of surgery, radiotherapy and conventional (DNA-damaging) chemotherapies. These treatments are relatively nonspecific and may be applied to all glioma subtypes. Developments in cancer medicine, however, now offer the opportunity to direct therapies to specific molecular pathways involved in tumorigenesis. This offers the potential to tailor treatments to tumor subtypes - perhaps with greater efficacy and less toxicity. Many of the so-called targeted therapies are under investigation in the treatment of malignant glioma. In this review, we will focus on the use of agents that affect signal transduction. In particular, we will review the potential role for inhibitors of: tyrosine kinases, targets of rapamycin, farnesyl transferase and histone deacetylase. Inhibitors of angiogenesis will also be discussed. Some 'targeted' therapies are less specific than others, working on more than one pathway or receptor, thus complex interactions are possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S29-S36
JournalExpert review of anticancer therapy
Issue number12 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • Farnesyl transferase
  • Glioblastoma multiforme
  • Histone deacetylase
  • Mammalian target of rapamycin
  • Phosphatase tensin encoded tumor-suppressor gene
  • Protein kinase B
  • Targeted therapy
  • Tyrosine kinase inhibitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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