What is Glioblastoma?

Glioblastoma is an aggressive type of brain cancer among adults. There is no cure for glioblastoma, but there are treatments to help relieve symptoms. Glioblastoma is a type of cancer that forms from star-shaped cells in the brain called astrocytes. In adults, astrocytoma starts usually begins in the largest part of the brain called the cerebrum. Glioblastoma tumors make their own blood supply, which helps them grow. Men are more likely to get them than women and risks increases with age.

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Glioblastomas grow quickly, mounting pressure on the brain. Depending on where the tumor is, it can cause:

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You may get an MRI or a CT scan from a neurologist who may also recommend additional tests depending on your symptoms.


There is no cure for glioblastoma. However, treatment may help slow and control tumor growth and help you live as comfortably. There are four treatments, and many people get more than one type:

Surgery: The surgeon removes as much of the tumor as possible. In high-risk areas of the brain, it may not be possible to take out all of it.

Radiation: This therapy is used to kill as many leftover tumor cells as possible after surgery. It can also slow the growth of tumors that can’t be removed by surgery.

Chemotherapy: For this treatment, doctors use temozolomide for glioblastoma. Chemo can cause short-term side effects, but it’s much less toxic than it used to be.

Electric field therapy: This method uses electrical fields to target cells in the tumor while not hurting normal cells around.

Glioblastomas often grow up again after treatment. If that happens, doctors may be able to treat it with surgery and a different form of radiation and chemotherapy.

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