Exploring the adequacy of CD133 as a target to direct non – viral gene therapies to Cancer Stem Cells in Glioblastoma Multiforme


Gascón Burillo, Mei


Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most aggressive and common type of tumor located in the central nervous system. GBM is very invasive, proliferative, and has a high mortality rate. Although there are some treatments available, they only increase life expectancy to 15-20 months. The main challenges in the treatment of GBM are the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) ​​and the presence of Cancer Stem Cells (CMC). To overcome these obstacles, a lot of effort goes into the development of new therapies. A promising strategy against GBM is the use of non-viral vector gene therapies targeting specific markers of CMC.
Next, we present an update on the different gene therapies that are under investigation for the treatment of GBM, especially those involved in the release of genetic material (DNA or RNA) through non-viral vectors and directed at CMCs. We focus on the most promising cellular marker for targeting glioma stem cells, which is CD133, also called Prominin-1, a transmembrane glycoprotein. Although this receptor has been used extensively to identify CMCs and has been targeted in various therapies against CMCs, CD133 is expressed on other cell types in many tissues. Therefore, targeting gene therapies at CD133 has been unsuccessful due to the potential for dramatic side effects. In general, targeting gene therapies to CD133 might be a viable untapped approach, but strategies must be designed to minimize off-site effects, for example, the use of ligands that are only activated in the tumor.



Oller Salvia, Benjamí


IQS SE - Undergraduate Program in Biotechnology