Diffuse and unstoppable infiltration of brain and spinal cord tissue by neoplastic glial cells is the single most
important therapeutic problem posed by the common glioma group of tumors: astrocytoma, oligoastrocytoma,
oligodendroglioma, their malignant variants and glioblastoma. These neoplasms account for more than two thirds of all
malignant central nervous system tumors. However, most glioma research focuses on an examination of the tumor cells
rather than on host-specific, tumor micro-environmental cells and factors. This can explain why existing diffuse glioma
therapies fail and why these tumors have remained incurable. Thus, there is a great need for innovation. We describe a
novel strategy for the development of a more effective treatment of diffuse glioma. Our approach centers on gaining
control over the behavior of the microglia, the defense cells of the CNS, which are manipulated by malignant glioma and
support its growth. Armoring microglia against the influences from glioma is one of our research goals. We further
discuss how microglia precursors may be genetically enhanced to track down infiltrating glioma cells.
Keywords: Glioblastoma, M2 polarization, microglia, pathway analysis, systems biology, zinc finger nucleases.
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