An aggressive tumor that starts within the brain, a glioblastoma is a common primary brain tumor that has a tendency of spreading quickly throughout the brain.
This type of cancerous tumor arises from the cells that support the neurons within the brain. While it can be located anywhere in the brain, it is commonly found in the cerebral hemisphere near the frontal and temporal lobes. The blood vessels in this area fuel the growth and cell reproduction of the tumor.
“Glioblastomas occur mostly in older adults in their 50s and 60s and affect slightly more men than women,” said Raymond Yong, MD, neurosurgeon and Director of Outreach for the Comprehensive Brain Tumor Program at Mount Sinai. Regardless of this demographic trend, glioblastomas can affect adults at any age.
Our neurosurgeons are highly skilled at treating this common type of tumor, which makes up approximately 54 percent of all primary brain tumors.
Like most primary brain tumors, glioblastomas can cause an array of symptoms, including:
- Blurry vision
- Nausea and vomiting
- Memory loss
- Weakness that affects one side of the body
The symptoms are a result of the intracranial pressure caused by the glioblastoma as well as the location of the tumor.
Treatment for Glioblastomas
Although there is a minor genetic link to glioblastomas, the overall cause is unknown. There are definitive ways to diagnosis the tumor and to treat it. At Mount Sinai, our neurosurgeons do a thorough assessment of each patient to determine if he or she would benefit from surgery, which is the best way to control the tumor.
The surgical procedure used to treat glioblastoma is a craniotomy, which involves removing a portion of the skull to access the brain. This allows neurosurgeons to resect the most advanced part of the tumor. The surgery can be performed once or in multiple rounds to make the most of resection.
A combination of radiation and chemotherapy will be used as a follow up to destroy the additional tumor cells. If surgery cannot be performed, as a result of a tumor being situated in a critical part of the brain, or if a patient is not healthy enough, radiation and chemotherapy will be recommended as the course of treatment.
Mount Sinai also offers innovative clinical trials using experimental chemotherapy. Participation in these trials will assist our neuroscientists in developing more effective therapies to treat brain cancers such as glioblastomas.
Comprehensive Brain Tumor Program
5 East 98th Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10029
To speak with someone about open brain tumor clinical trials, please contact John Percival Pena, NP, at 212-241-6252.