Brain Conditions

Glioblastoma Multiforme

Glioblastoma Multiforme is a grade IV astrocytoma. Put simply, it is a high-grade malignant brain tumor that grows rapidly and invades nearby brain tissue. It can occur at any age, but is most common between the ages of 45 and 70. It is somewhat more common in men. Symptoms may include headache, weakness, vomiting, seizures, difficulty understanding, and problems with concentration. Glioblastoma multiforme is usually diagnosed by CT scan or MRI.

Although surgery doesn’t cure the disease, it can lengthen the time of survival, increase the quality of life, and reduce intracranial pressure (pressure inside the skull that affects brain function). Unfortunately, it is usually impossible to completely remove the tumor and new tumors typically arise in the tumor bed regardless of the amount of tumor removed. New tumors may arise in other locations as well. Surgery is often followed by a course of radiation and chemotherapy. Steroids may be used to reduce swelling around the tumor during recovery and treatment.