Molecular mechanisms of temozolomide resistance in glioblastoma multiforme

Tor Christian Aase Johannessen*, Rolf Bjerkvig

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

99 Citations (Scopus)


Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM; WHO astrocytoma grade IV) is considered incurable owing to its inherently profound resistance towards current standards of therapy. Considerable effort is being devoted to identifying the molecular basis of temozolomide resistance in GBMs and exploring novel therapeutic regimens that may improve overall survival. Several independent DNA repair mechanisms that normally safeguard genome integrity can facilitate drug resistance and cancer cell survival by removing chemotherapy-induced DNA adducts. Furthermore, subpopulations of cancer stem-like cells have been implicated in the treatment resistance of several malignancies including GBMs. Thus, a growing number of molecular mechanisms contributing to temozolomide resistance are being uncovered in preclinical studies and, consequently, we are being presented with a broad range of potentially novel targets for therapy. A substantial future challenge is to successfully exploit the increasing molecular knowledge contributing to temozolomide resistance in robust clinical trials and to ultimately improve overall survival for GBM patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-642
Number of pages8
JournalExpert Review of Anticancer Therapy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


  • MGMT
  • PARP
  • base excision repair
  • cancer stem-like cell
  • glioblastoma
  • mismatch repair
  • temozolomide
  • treatment resistance


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