Integrin α7: a novel promising target in glioblastoma stem cells
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most frequent, malignant and lethal brain tumor in adults, with an associated 5-year survival of 5% and a median survival of 15 months (1). Current standard treatment includes surgery followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy with temozolomide (TMZ). However, despite the initial tumor regression, therapy resistance frequently occurs leading to tumor recurrence and death. The presence of a subpopulation of undifferentiated cancer cells, called GSCs, is one of the most critical circumstances promoting the failure of the therapies in GBM. GSCs are quiescent cells that exhibit the stem cell properties of unlimited self-renewal and multilineage differentiation potential, and also resistance to therapies, characteristics that make them responsible for tumor formation and maintenance, as well as recurrence after therapy (2). Since conventional therapies are directed against proliferative cells, do not target quiescent cells as GSCs. Therefore, the identification of specific GSC biomarkers and regulators for their use as molecular targets is a prominent need that has become a priority for therapeutic development.