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Front Pharmacol. 2019 Jun 5;10:506. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2019.00506. eCollection 2019.

Harnessing Microglia and Macrophages for the Treatment of Glioblastoma.

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Division of Digestive and Transplantation Surgery, Geneva University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland.
Lemanic Neuroscience Doctoral School, Geneva, Switzerland.
Center for Translational Research in Onco-Hematology, Division of Oncology, Geneva University Hospitals - University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.
Département de Physique Nucléaire et Corpusculaire (DPNC), University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.
European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Geneva, Switzerland.


Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most malignant form of brain tumors, with a dismal prognosis. During the course of the disease, microglia and macrophages both infiltrate the tumor microenvironment and contribute considerably in glioma development. Thus, tumor-associated microglia and macrophages have recently emerged as potentially key therapeutic targets. Here, we review the physiology of microglia and their responses in brain cancer. We further discuss current treatment options for GBM using radiotherapy, and novel advances in our knowledge of microglia physiology, with emphasis on the recently discovered pathway that controls the baseline motility of microglia processes. We argue that the latter pathway is an interesting therapeutic avenue to pursue for the treatment of glioblastoma.


cancer; glioblastoma; macrophage; microglia; two-pore domain K+ channels

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