Being the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death, glial tumors are highly diverse tumor entities characterized by important heterogeneity regarding tumor malignancy and prognosis. However, despite the identification of important alterations in the genome of the glial tumors, there remains a gap in understanding the mechanisms involved in glioma malignancy. Previous research focused on decoding the genomic alterations in these tumors, but due to intricate cellular mechanisms, the genomic findings do not correlate with the functional proteins expressed at the cellular level. The development of mass spectrometry (MS) based proteomics allowed researchers to study proteins expressed at the cellular level or in serum that may provide new insights on the proteins involved in the proliferation, invasiveness, metastasis and resistance to therapy in glial tumors. The integration of data provided by genomic and proteomic approaches into clinical practice could allow for the identification of new predictive, diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers that will improve the clinical management of patients with glial tumors. This paper aims to provide an updated review of the recent proteomic findings, possible clinical applications, and future research perspectives in diffuse astrocytic and oligodendroglial tumors, pilocytic astrocytomas, and ependymomas.
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