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Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2015 Jan 29;7(5). pii: a020610. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a020610.

Cell of origin for malignant gliomas and its implication in therapeutic development.

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Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908.
Department of Developmental Biology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75390.
Department of Developmental Neurobiology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee 38105.


Malignant glioma remains incurable despite tremendous advancement in basic research and clinical practice. The identification of the cell(s) of origin should provide deep insights into leverage points for one to halt disease progression. Here we summarize recent studies that support the notion that neural stem cell (NSC), astrocyte, and oligodendrocyte precursor cell (OPC) can all serve as the cell of origin. We also lay out important considerations on technical rigor for further exploring this subject. Finally, we share perspectives on how one could apply the knowledge of cell of origin to develop effective treatment methods. Although it will be a difficult battle, victory should be within reach as along as we continue to assimilate new information and facilitate the collaboration among basic scientists, translational researchers, and clinicians.

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