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Immunological Aspects of Malignant Gliomas

  • Or Cohen-Inbar (a1) (a2) (a3) (a4) and Menashe Zaaroor (a1) (a2) (a3)

Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is the most common malignant primary brain neoplasm having a mean survival time of <24 months. This figure remains constant, despite significant progress in medical research and treatment. The lack of an efficient anti-tumor immune response and the micro-invasive nature of the glioma malignant cells have been explained by a multitude of immune-suppressive mechanisms, proven in different models. These immune-resistant capabilities of the tumor result in a complex interplay this tumor shares with the immune system. We present a short review on the immunology of GBM, discussing the different unique pathological and molecular features of GBM, current treatment modalities, the principles of cancer immunotherapy and the link between GBM and melanoma. Current knowledge on immunological features of GBM, as well as immunotherapy past and current clinical trials, is discussed in an attempt to broadly present the complex and formidable challenges posed by GBM.


Aspects immunologiques des gliomes malins. Le glioblastome multiforme (GBM) est le plus fréquent des néoplasmes cérébraux primaires malins. La survie moyenne est de moins de 24 mois et demeure inchangée malgré les progrès importants réalisés par la recherche médicale et les essais thérapeutiques. L’absence de réponse immunitaire anti-tumeur efficace et la nature micro-invasive des cellules malignes du gliome ont été expliquées par une multitude de mécanismes immunosuppresseurs, démontrés dans différents modèles expérimentaux. L’immunorésistance de la tumeur donne lieu à une interaction complexe entre la tumeur et le système immunitaire. Nous présentons une courte revue de l’immunologie du GBM et nous discutons de ses caractéristiques anatomopathologiques et moléculaires uniques, des modalités actuelles de traitement, des principes de l’immunothérapie du cancer et du lien entre le GBM et le mélanome. Nous exposons les connaissances actuelles sur les caractéristiques immunologiques du GBM ainsi que les essais thérapeutiques antérieurs et actuels d’immunothérapie, afin d’esquisser quels sont les défis considérables et complexes que pose le GBM.

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Corresponding author
Correspondence to: Or Cohen-Inbar, 137 Yellowstone Drive, Charlottesville, VA 22903, USA. Email:
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