What Is Glioblastoma?

Glioblastoma is one of the most common types of brain cancer. It develops in the astrocytes, which are responsible for transmitting electrical impulses within the brain, providing essential nutrients to the neurons, regulating blood flow and helping to repair damage to the nervous system. While these cells are present throughout the brain, glioblastomas usually start in cerebrum (the largest part of the brain).

Glioblastomas can grow rather quickly and produce a number of symptoms if they put pressure on the brain. The most common symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Blurred vision
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Changes in mood or personality
  • Difficulty speaking

Diagnosing glioblastoma

Glioblastoma is usually diagnosed after a series of imaging scans and blood tests. Oncologists may also perform neurologic function tests to evaluate a patient’s reflexes, muscle strength, coordination and alertness.

Comprehensive glioblastoma treatment

There are several treatment options for glioblastoma. Surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy are the most common, although there are other options, such as targeted therapy, which specifically targets glioblastoma cells while leaving healthy cells unaffected. The specific treatment recommended for a patient will depend on the type and stage of the cancer, the patient’s age and overall health and – if applicable – the tumor’s response to previous treatments.

At Moffitt Cancer Center, our tailored approach to glioblastoma treatment helps us to achieve the best possible outcomes in terms of both survival and quality of life. Our Neuro-Oncology Program is home to a number of oncologists who specialize in diagnosing and treating brain cancer, as well as social workers and supportive care providers. We also host a number of brain cancer clinical trials, helping patients access the newest and most effective treatments as soon as those options are developed.

Patients with all types and stages of glioblastoma can turn to Moffitt for comprehensive, individualized action plans. To request an appointment, call 1-888-663-3888 or submit a new patient registration form online. We do not require physician referrals.