When it comes to malignant brain tumors, "aggressive" means that the cancer forms, grows in size or spreads at a rapid pace. While there are well over 100 different types of brain tumors, glioblastoma is typically recognized as the most aggressive primary brain cancer in adults.
What is glioblastoma?
Glioblastoma, formerly known as glioblastoma multiforme, develops in the astrocytes, which are small, star-shaped cells found in the supportive tissue of the brain. This type of cancer can develop anywhere in the brain or spinal cord but is most commonly seen in the frontal and temporal lobes of the cerebrum. Because astrocytes are fed by a large network of blood vessels, glioblastomas tend to grow very quickly. However, it’s very rare for a glioblastoma to spread outside of the brain.
How is glioblastoma treated?
Glioblastomas is a very aggressive form of cancer, which is why treatment plans typically include a combination of several therapies. Also, glioblastoma tumor cells can differ from each other in important ways. Treatments that are effective against one cell type may have little to no impact on others, so a comprehensive treatment approach is usually most effective. Most often, surgery is performed to remove as much of the tumor as possible, followed by radiation therapy or a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Glioblastoma treatment at Moffitt Cancer Center
At Moffitt, patients can receive individualized glioblastoma treatment from a team of medical and neurosurgical-oncologists who only treat tumors of the brain and spinal cord. Every patient’s treatment plan is collaboratively designed by several neurosurgeons, medical neuro-oncologists, radiation oncologists and supportive care providers; additionally, a patient’s progress is reviewed by our weekly multispecialty Neuro-Oncology tumor board.
Not only do we offer an extensive range of glioblastoma treatments; we also have a robust portfolio of clinical trials for this type of brain cancer to help evaluate the newest and most promising options. These opportunities can be especially beneficial for patients whose glioblastoma did not respond well to traditional treatments or have come back after a period of remission. At Moffitt, we place a heavy emphasis on translational research; our team works tirelessly to turn scientific discoveries into effective new glioblastoma therapies.
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Michael Vogelbaum, Program Leader, Department of Neuro-Oncology.
To learn more about glioblastoma and treatment, call 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form online. This is the first step to visiting Moffitt Cancer Center and consulting with an oncologist specializing in aggressive brain cancer.