Stanford University Hospital and Clinics, Stanford, CA, USA
Academic Editor: Bart Ellenbroek
Special Issue: Tumors of the Central Nervous System
Received: May 05, 2019 | Accepted: May 05, 2019 | Published: May 08, 2019
OBM Neurobiology 2019, Volume 3, Issue 2, doi:10.21926/obm.neurobiol.1902025
Recommended citation: Meola A. Editorial: “A New Era in Neuro-Oncology”. OBM Neurobiology 2019;3(2):2; doi:10.21926/obm.neurobiol.1902025.
© 2019 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the conditions of the Creative Commons by Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium or format, provided the original work is correctly cited.
For several decades, the classification of brain tumors was based on histogenesis. Brain tumors were classified on the basis of their presumed cell of origin and differentiation stage. From a practical viewpoint, the characterization of brain tumors was traditionally based on light field microscopy and, more recently, on immunohistochemical assays and ultrastructural studies.
The 2016 WHO classification of tumors of the central nervous system  radically changed the rationale behind brain tumor classification. The 2016 classification is based both on the histological as well as the genetic and molecular features of brain tumors. As a consequence, some neuro-oncological categories were completely restructured, such as glioblastoma, medulloblastoma and embryologic tumors. Moreover, some new neuro-oncological entities were created, while other were removed from the classification. Certainly, our new knowledge about brain tumor biology and the development of modern molecular and genetic tests, allowed transitioning from a purely histological classification of brain tumors to a mixed histological and genetic/molecular classification. The new genetic and molecular features of brain tumors can have a tremendous impact on clinical practice, determining appropriate treatment selection, and patients’ prognosis.
In this new era of brain tumors, imaging plays a pivotal role, as well. The recent advancements in imaging techniques (i.e. MR spectroscopy, PET/CT) allow detecting molecular markers of brain tumors, which are associated with different histotypes. Thus, imaging will provide the clinician with important information about brain tumor histology, biology and prognosis.
The special issue on “Tumors of the Central Nervous System” of OBM Neurobiology, includes several important contributions highlighting contemporary concepts of brain tumor biology derived from novel molecular, genetic and radiological studies.
The author did all the research work of this study.
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