Glioblastoma, Cancer Stem Cells and Hypoxia


Eli E. Bar, PhD, Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 400 N. Broadway, Smith Building 4027, Baltimore, MD 21287 (E-mail:


Glioblastoma (GBM) prognosis remains dismal, with most patients succumbing to disease within 1 or 2 years of diagnosis. Recent studies have suggested that many solid tumors, including GBM, are maintained by a subset of cells termed cancer stem cells (CSCs). It has been shown that these cells are inherently radio- and chemotherapy resistant, and may be maintained in vivo in a niche characterized by reduced oxygen tension (hypoxia). This review examines the recently described effects of hypoxia on CSC in GBM, and the potential promise in targeting the hypoxic pathway therapeutically.