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ISRN Oncology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 673793, 13 pages
Review Article

Glioma Stem Cells and Immunotherapy for the Treatment of Malignant Gliomas

Department of Neurosurgery, Keio University School of Medicine, 35 Shinanomachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8582, Japan

Received 3 March 2013; Accepted 27 March 2013

Academic Editors: A. E. Bilsland, M. Loizidou, C. Perez, and L.-M. Sun

Copyright © 2013 Masahiro Toda. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Stem cell research has led to the discovery of glioma stem cells (GSCs), and because these cells are resistant to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, analysis of their properties has been rapidly pursued for targeted treatment of malignant glioma. Recent studies have also revealed complex crosstalk between GSCs and their specialized environment (niche). Therefore, targeting not only GSCs but also their niche may be a principle for novel therapies of malignant glioma. One possible novel strategy for targeting GSCs and their niches is immunotherapy with different antitumor mechanism(s) from those of conventional therapy. Recent clinical studies of immunotherapy using peptide vaccines and antibodies have shown promising results. This review describes the recent findings related to GSCs and their niches, as well as immunotherapies for glioma, followed by discussion of immunotherapies that target GSCs for the treatment of malignant glioma.