Malignant gliomas, the most common malignant primary brain tumors, have a deleterious clinical prognosis of
approximately 12 months in unselected series. The resistance against antineoplastic therapy is apparently not only associated
with a high proliferative potential, marked antiapoptotic resistance and high migratory capacity. Effective mechanisms
to escape the immune response of the organism and an intense neoangiogenesis also contribute to the aggressive
growth of these neoplasms. In addition to a number of molecular mechanisms, the group of glycohydrate-binding galectins
seems to contribute to the aggressive growth of malignant gliomas. Galectin-1, -3, -4 and -8 have been shown to be
overexpressed in malignant gliomas. Galectin-1 is known to be involved in glioma cell migration and possibly also in proliferation.
In this review, various aspects of glioma biology and their therapeutic relevance is discussed. The role of
galectins in apoptosis-resistance, immune response and angiogenesis is discussed and explained why these molecules are
interesting targets of glioma therapy.
Keywords: Galectin, glioma, glioblastoma, therapy, angiogenesis, apoptosis, immune response, brain tumors, antineoplastic therapy, antiapoptotic resistance, apoptosis-resistance, glioma therapy
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