What is Glioblastoma?

Glioblastoma (Glioblastoma multiforme or GBM) is a Grade 4 Glioma and the most common primary brain tumour in adults.

Glioblastomas arise from astrocytes— star-shaped cells that make up the “glue-like” or supportive tissue of the brain.

Glioblastomas are generally found in the cerebral hemispheres of the brain, but can be found anywhere in the brain or spinal cord. It is high grade, which means it tends to grow quickly.

Symptoms of Glioblastoma

Glioblastomas can grow rapidly, the most common symptoms can be caused by increased pressure in the brain. They include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Confusion or a decline in brain function
  • Memory loss
  • Personality changes or irritability
  • Difficulty with balance
  • Vision problems, such as blurred vision, double vision or loss of peripheral vision
  • Speech difficulties
  • Seizures, especially in someone without a history of seizures

Glioblastoma statistics

  • Glioblastomas are the most common type of primary brain tumour in adults and account for 12 to 15% of all brain tumours.
  • Glioblastoma has an incidence of two to three diagnoses per 100,000 adults per year. In the UK, this represents up to 3,600 new diagnoses each year.
  • The American Association of Neurological Surgeons reports that Glioblastoma is most commonly diagnosed in adults between the ages of 45 and 70. Where men are more frequently diagnosed than women.
  • The prognosis for patients diagnosed with glioblastoma is poor, where average survival time currently is 12 to 18 months. Twenty per cent of patients survive more than one year. Three per cent of patients survive more than three years.

Treatments for Glioblastoma

Unfortunately, many Glioblastoma tumours are resistant to treatment. However, scientists currently consider the best treatment path to be:

  • Surgery followed by Chemoradiation, where a surgeon will operate, removing as much of the tumour as is possible.
  • Once the surgical wound has healed, the next stage is chemoradiation. Chemoradiation aims to slow the growth of any tumour cells that cannot be removed by the surgery.

Further support

Please contact us at Funding Neuro with any further questions or concerns. We do not offer support or bereavement counselling. However our staff are experts of Glioblastoma and can guide you as to the best options or put you in touch with other organisations who can help.