Glioblastoma is a common primary brain tumor that starts within the brain and quickly spreads throughout the brain. This aggressive 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. Although there is a minor genetic link to glioblastomas, the overall cause is unknown. Glioblastomas can affect adults at any age, but they occur mostly in adults in their fifties and sixties and affect slightly more men than women. Our neurosurgeons are highly skilled at treating this common type of tumor, which makes up approximately 54 percent of all primary brain tumors.
The following symptoms are a result of the pressure inside the skull caused by the glioblastoma and the location of the tumor. Like most primary brain tumors, glioblastomas can cause an array of symptoms:
- Blurry vision
- Nausea and vomiting
- Memory loss
- Weakness that affects one side of the body
There are definitive ways to diagnosis the tumor and to treat it. At the Mount Sinai Health System, 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 the neurosurgeon to cut out the most advanced part of the tumor. The surgeon performs the procedure once or in multiple rounds to make the most of resection.
The patient receives a combination of radiation and chemotherapy as a follow-up to destroy the additional tumor cells. If surgery cannot be performed because the tumor is located in a critical part of the brain, or the patient is not healthy enough to withstand surgery, we will recommend radiation and chemotherapy as the course of treatment.
Mount Sinai also offers innovative clinical trials using experimental chemotherapy. Participation in these trials offers you new opportunities for treatment while assisting our neuroscientists in developing more effective therapies to treat brain tumors such as glioblastomas.