Viruses and Glioblastoma: Affliction or Opportunity?

  • Haidn Foster
  • Charles S. CobbsEmail author
Part of the Current Cancer Research book series (CUCR)


Herpesviruses, polyomaviruses, and papillomaviruses have all been detected in glioblastoma cells and/or cell lines. Our group first published evidence of human cytomegalovirus (CMV), a herpesvirus, in glioblastoma specimens from immunocompetent patients in 2002. However, the discovery of CMV and other viruses in glioblastoma has met with controversy following several studies that failed to detect viral particles in GBM. Here we summarize the known relationships between viruses and malignant gliomas, including viral detection in GBM, the oncomodulatory effects of GBM-associated viruses, and the novel ways by which investigators are targeting viruses for the treatment of glioblastoma.


Cytomegalovirus Glioblastoma Herpesvirus Polyomavirus Papillomavirus 

Abbreviations (Laboratory assay abbreviations listed in Table 4.2)


B.K. virus


Central nervous system




Dendritic cell


Epstein-Barr virus




Human herpesvirus


Human papillomavirus




John Cunningham virus


Large tumor antigen






Platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha


Recurrent GBM


Simian virus 40


Small tumor antigen




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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Swedish Neuroscience InstituteCenter for Advanced Brain Tumor TreatmentSeattleUSA
  2. 2.University of Cincinnati College of MedicineCincinnatiUSA

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