A glioblastoma, also known as glioblastoma multiforme or grade 4 astrocytoma, is a type of central nervous system tumor that forms from glial (supportive) tissue of the brain and spinal cord, and has cells that look very different from normal cells.
It can be a primary (first cancer in the body) or secondary tumor (the cancer metastasizes from another area of the body). Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive type of primary brain tumor.
Causes and Symptoms of a Glioblastoma
Researchers are still working on finding the cause of glioblastoma.
General brain tumor symptoms include:
nausea and vomiting
Some glioblastomas put pressure on the brain and may also cause:
hemiparesis (weakness on one side of the body)
How Is a Glioblastoma Diagnosed?
Sophisticated brain imaging tools such as computed tomography (CT) scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are used to view the tumor. A biopsy, sometimes taken during surgery, can identify the type of tumor and help determine the tumor grade.
Advanced Treatments for Glioblastomas at NSPC
Neurological Surgery, P.C (NSPC) Long Island Brain Tumor Center offers a multi-disciplinary team approach to brain tumor treatment, with a staff of more than 20 physicians and surgeons with various sub-specialties. We work with your current health care practitioner to devise the best treatment plan for you. NSPC offers the most advanced therapies, including experimental treatments such as clinical trials.
Due to the tentacle-like configurations of astrocyte cells, glioblastomas can be difficult to surgically remove, but technological advances give brain surgeons the ability to operate on tumors which were previously deemed inoperable.
Awake Craniotomy and Functional Mapping
Your neurosurgeon can observe your sensory reactions and movement abilities during your surgery—while you’re awake. Brain mapping helps protect and preserve the functional aspects of the brain, so surgeons can now operate on tumors that would have been considered too risky in the past. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) allows your surgeon to monitor your brain’s activity via blood flow.
Chemotherapy is given after surgery has removed as much of the mass as possible, safely. If there is a recurrence of glioblastoma, chemotherapy is given again.
Our Stereotactic Radiosurgery Center has the most advanced stereotactic radiosurgery equipment. Leading-edge technologies can deliver precisely targeted high-dose radiation beams, in as few as one to five session.
Other revolutionary treatments offered at NSPC, along with the usual standard-of-care treatments, include the FDA-approved NovoTTF™-100A. The device uses low-level electrical fields to disrupt the formation of new tumor cells in patients who have had recurrent glioblastoma. The patient wears the device on the head for at least 18 hours a day, and many patients report an improved quality of life when compared to supportive chemotherapy treatment.
Our award-winning physicians use state-of-the-art treatment procedures to treat a range of central nervous system cancers—from primary brain and spinal tumors to metastases. Contact a specialist at our Brain Tumor Center in Long Island, New York. Our expert neurosurgeons can discuss your best treatment options—you’ll get world-class care, right here in the NY area.