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Neurosurg Focus. 2015 Mar;38(3):E4. doi: 10.3171/2015.1.FOCUS14755.

A practical review of prognostic correlations of molecular biomarkers in glioblastoma.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Clinical Neuroscience Center; and.


Despite extensive efforts in research and therapeutics, achieving longer survival for patients with glioblastoma (GBM) remains a formidable challenge. Furthermore, because of rapid advances in the scientific understanding of GBM, communication with patients regarding the explanations and implications of genetic and molecular markers can be difficult. Understanding the important biomarkers that play a role in GBM pathogenesis may also help clinicians in educating patients about prognosis, potential clinical trials, and monitoring response to treatments. This article aims to provide an up-to-date review that can be discussed with patients regarding common molecular markers, namely O-6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT), isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 and 2 (IDH1/2), p53, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR), phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), and 1p/19q. The importance of the distinction between a prognostic and a predictive biomarker as well as clinical trials regarding these markers and their relevance to clinical practice are discussed.


AA = anaplastic astrocytoma; GBM; GBM = glioblastoma; IDH1/2; MGMT; MGMTm = MGMT promoter methylation; OS = overall survival; PFS = progression-free survival; biomarker; overall survival; progression-free survival

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