Potassium Ion Channels in Malignant Central Nervous System Cancers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Malignant central nervous system (CNS) cancers are among the most difficult to treat, with low rates of survival and a high likelihood of recurrence. This is primarily due to their location within the CNS, hindering adequate drug delivery and tumour access via surgery. Furthermore, CNS cancer cells are highly plastic, an adaptive property that enables them to bypass targeted treatment strategies and develop drug resistance. Potassium ion channels have long been implicated in the progression of many cancers due to their integral role in several hallmarks of the disease. Here, we will explore this relationship further, with a focus on malignant CNS cancers, including high-grade glioma (HGG). HGG is the most lethal form of primary brain tumour in adults, with the majority of patient mortality attributed to drug-resistant secondary tumours. Hence, targeting proteins that are integral to cellular plasticity could reduce tumour recurrence, improving survival. This review summarises the role of potassium ion channels in malignant CNS cancers, specifically how they contribute to proliferation, invasion, metastasis, angiogenesis, and plasticity. We will also explore how specific modulation of these proteins may provide a novel way to overcome drug resistance and improve patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4767
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


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