Aptamer-based in vivo therapeutic targeting of glioblastoma

Valeriana Cesarini, Chiara Scopa, Domenico Alessandro Silvestris, Andrea Scafidi, Valerio Petrera, Giada Del Baldo, Angela Gallo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most aggressive, infiltrative, and lethal brain tumor in humans. Despite the extensive advancement in the knowledge about tumor progression and treatment over the last few years, the prognosis of GBM is still very poor due to the difficulty of targeting drugs or anticancer molecules to GBM cells. The major challenge in improving GBM treatment implicates the development of a targeted drug delivery system, capable of crossing the blood–brain barrier (BBB) and specifically targeting GBM cells. Aptamers possess many characteristics that make them ideal novel therapeutic agents for the treatment of GBM. They are short single-stranded nucleic acids (RNA or ssDNA) able to bind to a molecular target with high affinity and specificity. Several GBM-targeting aptamers have been developed for imaging, tumor cell isolation from biopsies, and drug/anticancer molecule delivery to the tumor cells. Due to their properties (low immunogenicity, long stability, and toxicity), a large number of aptamers have been selected against GBM biomarkers and tested in GBM cell lines, while only a few of them have also been tested in in vivo models of GBM. Herein, we specifically focus on aptamers tested in GBM in vivo models that can be considered as new diagnostic and/or therapeutic tools for GBM patients’ treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4267
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Aptamers
  • Drug delivery
  • GBM
  • GBM therapy
  • Nanoparticles


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