Background: Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most aggressive and common brain tumor in
adults, currently lacking effective life-prolonging and recurrence-preventing therapy; median survival
of GBM patients stands at only 14-16 months. Increasing lines of evidence indicate that Anaplastic
lymphoma kinase (ALK), a druggable tyrosine kinase receptor over-expressed in GBM, represents a
potential therapeutic target in this tumor.
Objective: An overview of the state of the art and the existing recent patents regarding potential
exploitation of ALK as a therapeutic target and/or diagnostic/prognostic factor in GBM.
Method: Recent literature and patents focusing on or including ALK pre-clinical and clinical research
in GBM have been identified and reviewed, and are discussed according to their potential use.
Results: Numerous recent ALK-related patents were identified. They were reviewed/analyzed in relation
to previously published research and categorized based on their potential in GBM: i) diagnosis/
prognosis, ii) drug-based therapeutic targeting of ALK using a single compound or combination
schemes and iii) therapeutic ALK targeting by other means, e.g. ALK vaccination.
Conclusion: ALK targeting holds promise as a novel therapeutic approach in GBM, especially in combination
schemes allowing multi-target therapy. Such schemes may incorporate detection-guided
therapy and utilize next generation inhibitory compounds with improved central nervous system penetration.
Moreover, identification of ALK-mediated molecular pathway(s) related to GBM carcinogenesis/
pathology and putative therapy resistance is of high priority and warrants further exploitation.