One of the most lethal properties of high grade gliomas is their ability to invade the surrounding normal brain tissue, as infiltrated cells often escape surgical resection and inevitably lead to tumour recurrence. The consequent poor prognosis and survival rate underscore the need to further understand and target the cellular mechanisms that underly tumour invasiveness. Proteases which degrade the surrounding stromal cells and extracellular matrix proteins have been demonstrated to be critical effectors of invasion for tumours of both central and peripheral origin. Within the nervous system, the role of metalloproteinases as well as other classes of proteases in mediating the invasive phenotype of high grade gliomas has been an intense area of research. We present in this article a review of this literature and address the possibility that these proteases and the biochemical pathways that regulate their expression, such as protein kinase C, may represent potential targets in the therapy of high grade gliomas.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology