What is Glioblastoma
Glioblastoma is the most common and the most aggressive malignant primary brain tumor in humans. Glioblastoma forms from cells called astrocytes that support nerve cells. The average age of a person diagnosed with glioblastoma is 64, though glioblastoma can occur at any age.
Symptoms of Glioblastoma
You may have glioblastoma if you have a headache that is new or different, nausea and vomiting, seizures, blurred vision, memory problems, difficulty with balance. Sometimes these symptoms come and go. They may be caused by other medical conditions. Have your doctor check you if you have any of these symptoms.
Treatments for Glioblastoma
Treatment for glioblastoma can include:
- Surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible (debulking)
- Radiation therapy, which uses X-rays or other high-energy beams to kill tumor cells
- Chemotherapy, which uses drugs to kill cancer cells
- Antiangiogenesis therapy, which is a form of treatment that targets tumors’ blood supplies and limits their ability to grow
- Steroids, administered prior to surgery, which help reduce swelling in the brain
Causes of Glioblastoma
Glioblastoma is the most aggressive form of brain tumor. It’s named for its source (a glial cell called an astrocyte) and its rapid growth.
The cause of this disease is unknown. But researchers have identified some risk factors that may increase your chance of developing it, such as:
- Being male
- Having a family history of brain cancer or other rare genetic disorders, such as Turcot syndrome or Neu-Laxova syndrome
- Exposure to certain chemicals, such as those found in paint removers and degreasers
Glioblastoma is most often diagnosed in people who are over 60 years old, but can occur at any age.
Learn about your disease
There are many resources out there to help you learn about your disease. Many of these resources will be more technical than this article, but they’re also very valuable in understanding what is happening in your body.
It’s important to know as much as possible about your disease and its treatment options so that you can talk with your doctor and make the best decisions for yourself.
Clinical trials for glioblastoma
Clinical trials are a way to find new treatments for glioblastoma, so if you or your loved one wants to be a patient in an experimental clinical trial, talk to the healthcare team about what studies may be available.
Clinical trials are the only way to find new treatments for glioblastoma. Researchers do careful experiments before they decide if a treatment is safe and effective enough to be approved by regulatory agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
You can also search clinicaltrials.gov for research centers conducting clinical trials near you: