Treatment of malignant gliomas: radiotherapy, chemotherapy and integration of new targeted agents

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Abstract

Progress in the biological and molecular characterization of gliomas and studies of factors associated with tumor growth and progression have led to translational research projects and the development of rational new approaches regarding prognostic models, better prediction of response to treatment and innovative therapeutic strategies. This review summarizes the available data on established and emerging prognostic factors and prognostic scores, and discusses their limitations as well as their potential influence on future therapeutic efforts. Recent developments in standard treatment options (i.e., surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy) are reviewed. Experimental data indicate that inhibition of several signaling pathways (e.g., epidermal growth factor, transforming growth factor-β and phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase) may represent a promising therapeutic strategy. Some inhibitory agents (i.e., drugs, antibodies and antisense oligonucleotides) have now entered clinical trials, mainly for recurrent gliomas and a small number are being tested in combination with radiotherapy. Early results of such approaches are presented.

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