Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) (also called glioblastoma) is a fast-growing glioma that develops from star-shaped glial cells (astrocytes and oligodendrocytes) that support the health of the nerve cells within the brain.
GBM is often referred to as a grade IV astrocytomaglial tumors, rapidly growing and commonly spreading into nearby brain tissue.
GBMs can arise in the brain “de novo” or evolve from lower-grade astrocytomas or oligodendrogliomascerebral hemispheres, especially in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. GBM is a devastating brain cancer that typically results in death in the first 15 months after diagnosis.
GBMs are biologically aggressive tumors that present unique treatment challenges due to the following characteristics:
- Localization of tumors in the brain
- Inherent resistance to conventional therapy
- Limited capacity of the brain to repair itself
- Migration of malignant cells into adjacent brain tissue
- The variably disrupted tumor blood supply which inhibits effective drug delivery
- On average, someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds.
- Tumor capillary leakage, resulting in an accumulation of fluid around the tumor; (peritumoral edema) and intracranial hypertension
- A limited response to therapy
- The resultant neurotoxicity of treatments directed at gliomas
The National Cancer Institute estimates that 22,850 adults (12,630 men and 10,280 women) were diagnosed with brain and other nervous system cancer in 2015.
GBM has an incidence of two to three per 100,000 adults per year, and accounts for 52 percent of all primary brain tumors. Overall, GBM accounts for about 17 percent of all tumors of the brain (primary and metastatic). These tumors tend to occur in adults between the ages of 45 and 70.
Source of information: The American Association of Neurologial Surgeons – www.aans.org