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Primary and secondary glioblastomas (GBMs) are two distinct diseases. The genetic and epigenetic background of these tumors is highly variable. The treatment procedure for these tumors is often unsuccessful because of the cellular heterogeneity and intrinsic ability of the tumor cells to invade healthy tissues. The fatal outcome of these tumors promotes researchers to find out new markers associated with the prognosis and treatment planning. In this communication, the role of glioblastoma stem cells in tumor progression and the malignant behavior of GBMs are summarized with attention to the signaling pathways and molecular regulators that are involved in maintaining the glioblastoma stem cell phenotype. A better understanding of these stem cell-like cells is necessary for designing new effective treatments and developing novel molecular strategies to target glioblastoma stem cells. We discuss hypoxia as a new therapeutic target for GBM. We focus on the inhibition of signaling pathways, which are associated with the hypoxia-mediated maintenance of glioblastoma stem cells, and the knockdown of hypoxia-inducible factors, which could be identified as attractive molecular target approaches for GBM therapeutics.
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