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Annu Rev Pathol. 2006;1:97-117.

Molecular pathology of malignant gliomas.

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Molecular Pathology Unit, Department of Pathology and Cancer Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.


Malignant gliomas, the most common type of primary brain tumor, are a spectrum of tumors of varying differentiation and malignancy grades. These tumors may arise from neural stem cells and appear to contain tumor stem cells. Early genetic events differ between astrocytic and oligodendroglial tumors, but all tumors have an initially invasive phenotype, which complicates therapy. Progression-associated genetic alterations are common to different tumor types, targeting growth-promoting and cell cycle control pathways and resulting in focal hypoxia, necrosis, and angiogenesis. Knowledge of malignant glioma genetics has already impacted clinical management of these tumors, and researchers hope that further knowledge of the molecular pathology of malignant gliomas will result in novel therapies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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