Are All Gliomas Malignant?

Glioma is a type of brain cancer that is often – but not always – malignant. In some cases, the tumor cells do not actively reproduce and invade nearby tissues, which makes them noncancerous. However, in most cases, gliomas are cancerous and likely to spread.

Low-grade vs. high-grade glioma

Oncologists often use the terms "low-grade" and "high-grade" to categorize malignant gliomas based on how quickly the tumors spread. Low-grade gliomas grow very slowly, but are still malignant and can progress to high-grade gliomas if left untreated. However, treatment can be very effective for low-grade glioma. Surgeons can often remove an entire tumor with no need for follow-up treatment, and the prognosis is typically favorable.

High-grade gliomas spread quickly, and multiple forms of treatment are often necessary to relieve the associated pain and neurological symptoms. Radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy and other options may be recommended to improve a patient’s outcome and quality of life.

Where to find comprehensive treatment for glioma

At Moffitt Cancer Center, we treat patients with all types and stages of brain cancer, including high-grade and low-grade glioma. Within our Neuro-Oncology Program, we have oncologists who specialize in chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery and neurosurgery, as well as caring and compassionate supportive care providers. Our comprehensive approach allows us to provide every patient with a unique, individualized glioma treatment plan that combines a variety of evidence-based therapies.

Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Adult Brain Tumor Consortium. This multi-institutional collaboration performs clinical trials that focus predominantly on patients with high-grade glioma. As a member of the Adult Brain Tumor Consortium, Moffitt is able to offer patients access to innovative therapies that are only available in a few select settings.

If you’d like to learn more about the treatment options Moffitt offers for both malignant and benign glioma, call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online to request an appointment. No referral is required.