Astrocytomas are brain tumors from glial cells, and they are classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as astrocytoma, grade I or benign; astrocytoma, grade II or malignant; anaplastic astrocytoma, grade III; and glioblastoma multiforme or grade IV. The high‐grade gliomas have an incidence of 6.03/100,000. The frequency of GBM is higher in men than in woman by a 50%. The survival of patients with GBM varied between 14 and 18 months, and less than 10% patients survive for 5 years. The main treatments for GBM consist of surgical tumor resection, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. These tumors present different endocrine characteristics, such as expression of aromatase enzyme, estrogen, progesterone, as well as testosterone receptors. In addition, patients with GBM produce estradiol in high concentrations when compared to those with low‐grade astrocytomas. The highest mRNA expression of ERα and aromatase in GBM patients had been postulated as prognostic biomarkers. The aromatase inhibitors had been used in the treatment of breast cancer in postmenopausal women with satisfactory results. At present time, several research groups are interested in testing these inhibitors for treating GBM.
Part of the book: Neurooncology