As most common primary brain cancer, glioblastoma is also the most aggressive and malignant form of cancer in the adult central nervous system. Glioblastomas are genetic and transcriptional heterogeneous tumors, which in spite of intensive research are poorly understood. Over the years conventional therapies failed to affect a cure, resulting in low survival rates of affected patients. To improve the clinical outcome, an important approach is to identify the cells of origin. One potential source for these are neural stem cells (NSCs) located in the subventricular zone, which is one of two niches in the adult nervous system where NSCs with the capacity of self-renewal and proliferation reside. These cells normally give rise to neuronal as well as glial progenitor cells. This review summarizes current findings about links between NSCs and cancer stem cells in glioblastoma and discusses current therapeutic approaches, which arise as a result of identifying the cell of origin in glioblastoma.
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