Challenges in the Treatment of Glioblastoma: Multisystem Mechanisms of Therapeutic Resistance.

TitleChallenges in the Treatment of Glioblastoma: Multisystem Mechanisms of Therapeutic Resistance.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsNoch EK, Ramakrishna R, Magge R
JournalWorld Neurosurg
Date Published2018 Aug
KeywordsBrain Neoplasms, Drug Resistance, Neoplasm, Glioblastoma, Humans, Immunotherapy, Precision Medicine, Treatment Outcome

Glioblastoma is one of the most lethal human cancers, with poor survival despite surgery, radiation treatment, and chemotherapy. Advances in the treatment of this type of brain tumor are limited because of several resistance mechanisms. Such mechanisms involve limited drug entry into the central nervous system compartment by the blood-brain barrier and by actions of the normal brain to counteract tumor-targeting medications. In addition, the vast heterogeneity in glioblastoma contributes to significant therapeutic resistance by preventing adequate control of the entire tumor mass by a single drug and by facilitating escape mechanisms from targeted agents. The stem cell-like characteristics of glioblastoma promote resistance to chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy through upregulation of efflux transporters, promotion of glioblastoma stem cell proliferation in neurogenic zones, and immune suppression, respectively. Metabolic cascades in glioblastoma prevent effective treatments through the optimization of glucose use, the use of alternative nutrient precursors for energy production, and the induction of hypoxia to enhance tumor growth. In the era of precision medicine, an assortment of molecular techniques is being developed to target an individual's unique tumor, with the hope that this personalized strategy will bypass therapeutic resistance. Although each resistance mechanism presents an array of challenges to effective treatment of glioblastoma, as the field recognizes and addresses these difficulties, future treatments may have more efficacy and promise for patients with glioblastoma.

Alternate JournalWorld Neurosurg
PubMed ID30049045