Glioblastoma (GBM) has the worst prognosis among brain tumors, hence basic biology, preclinical, and clinical studies are necessary to design effective strategies to defeat this disease. Gene transfer vectors derived from the most-studied lentivirus—the Human Immunodeficiency Virus type 1—have wide application in dissecting GBM specific features to identify potential therapeutic targets. Last-generation lentiviruses (LV), highly improved in safety profile and gene transfer capacity, are also largely employed as delivery systems of therapeutic molecules to be employed in gene therapy (GT) approaches. LV were initially used in GT protocols aimed at the expression of suicide factors to induce GBM cell death. Subsequently, LV were adopted to either express small noncoding RNAs to affect different aspects of GBM biology or to overcome the resistance to both chemo- and radiotherapy that easily develop in this tumor after initial therapy. Newer frontiers include adoption of LV for engineering T cells to express chimeric antigen receptors recognizing specific GBM antigens, or for transducing specific cell types that, due to their biological properties, can function as carriers of therapeutic molecules to the cancer mass. Finally, LV allow the setting up of improved animal models crucial for the validation of GBM specific therapies.
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