Glioblastoma (GBM) is a fatal primary malignant brain tumor in adults. Despite decades of research, the prognosis for GBM patients is still disappointing. One major reason for the intense therapeutic resistance of GBM is inter and intra-tumor heterogeneity. GBM-intrinsic transcriptional profiling has suggested the presence of at least three subtypes of GBM: the proneural, classic, and mesenchymal subtypes. The mesenchymal subtype is the most aggressive, and patients with the mesenchymal subtype of primary and recurrent tumors tend to have a worse prognosis compared with patients with the other subtypes. Furthermore, GBM can shift from other subtypes to the mesenchymal subtype over the course of disease progression or recurrence. This phenotypic transition is driven by diverse tumor-intrinsic molecular mechanisms or microenvironmental factors. Thus, better understanding of the plastic nature of mesenchymal transition in GBM is pivotal to developing new therapeutic strategies. In this review, we provide a comprehensive overview of the current understanding of the elements involved in the mesenchymal transition of GBM and discuss future perspectives.
- Mesenchymal subtype
- Mesenchymal transition
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)