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Gliomas are malignant, infiltrative (without a clear border with surrounding tissues) tumours of the central nervous system that develop from glial cells. Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive type of glioma. No significant progress has yet been made in treating these tumours and the prognosis for patients with glioblastoma remains very poor.

Since glioblastoma cells spread widely and rapidly in the surrounding brain tissues, complete surgical resection is not possible and therefore a recurrence or relapse of the tumour is inevitable. The possibilities of chemotherapy and radiotherapy are limited by the high resistance of tumour cells as well as by the barrier caused by the blood-brain barrier to the molecules of chemotherapeutics.

Researching potential prognostic markers (molecules whose presence and quantity in malignant tumour tissue material correlates with a patient’s prognosis and is associated with tumour genesis and growth) could improve knowledge of critical molecular changes that contribute to the development of gliomas. Such data would increase the potential to develop effective target-molecule centred therapies in the future. New prognostic markers can improve treatment and probably also make it possible to divide patients into certain prognostic groups with different treatment approaches, which would make treatment more personalised.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the morphological and immunohistochemical profile of gliomas (glioblastomas and diffuse astrocytomas) as well as the prognostic significance of certain immunohistochemical markers.

Using the immunohistochemistry method, several protein markers (molecules whose presence in tumour tissue material is associated with tumour genesis and growth) have been studied for this doctoral thesis, and their previous diagnostic and prognostic value has been contradictory. From a regional point of view, it is the first study in Latvia where the morphological and immunohistochemical characteristics of gliomas have been extensively evaluated, and an analysis of survival time has been performed.

The work has shown that the immunohistochemistry method can be used in subtyping gliomas, namely, to determine biologically different tumour subtypes (types).

Supervisors: Prof. Ilze Štrumfa and Prof. Jānis Gardovskis.