Glioblastoma Multiforme Cancer Stem Cells Express Components of the Renin-Angiotensin System

Authors: Amy R. Bradshaw, Agadha C. Wickremesekera, Helen D. Brasch, Alice M. Chibnall, Paul F. Davis, Swee T. Tan and Tinte Itinteang

Frontiers in Surgery – Neurosurgery, Front Surg 2016;3:51

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a brain cancer that constitutes 60-70% of all malignant gliomas. This poor prognosis has been ascribed to the presence of cancer stem cells (CSCs) within the GBM. These CSCs multiply and form cancer cells that make up the bulk of the tumour. The CSCs are resistant to chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

It is proposed that a cancer originates from CSCs. The team at the GMRI has recently demonstrated the presence of CSCs by their expression of the markers NANOG, OCT4, SALL4, pSTAT3 and SOX2 within GBM.

The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is an endocrine system that is normally involved in the regulation of blood pressure. Constituents of the RAS have been reported to be detectable in human GBM.

In this paper the GMRI has shown the presence of the constituents of the RAS within the CSCs in GBM. This novel finding suggests that the CSCs may be a novel therapeutic target for GBM by modulation of the RAS, using simple medications.