Glioblastoma

learn more about glioblastoma

Gliomas are tumours that originate from brain tissue support cells.

They can be primary, originating from the very cells that make up the various brain structures, or metastatic, which disseminate to the brain from other extracerebral locations. Metastatic gliomas are 10 times more common than primary brain tumours.

The majority are difficult of identify and consist of tumours with a solid component and a diffuse component, with a variable extent.

The solid component can often be operated on and eliminated. The diffuse component should be treated with radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy but is very often responsible for tumour regrowth.

Grade I gliomas are the most benign and are often not diffuse. The diffuse gliomas can be grade II, III or IV. As the grade increases, the faster the gliomas grow and the more difficult they are to treat.

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  • Headache is the most common nonspecific symptom. However, in many cases, its presence does not lead us to suspect a brain tumour.
  • The symptoms resulting from increased intracranial pressure, such as drowsiness, can be more indicative of the presence of a glioma.
  • There are other more specific signs and symptoms that appear depending on the location of the disease, such as focal signs (loss of strength, difficulty speaking and visual field defects), seizures and haemorrhaging.

There is no known cause for the onset of gliomas.

Less than 5% of gliomas have a known family history.

Moreover, there are various degenerative brain diseases that predispose patients to gliomas.

The frequent use of mobile telephones has not been shown to cause a greater incidence of these brain tumours.

The prognosis depends mainly on the tumour’s aggressiveness.

In adults, 60% of primary brain tumours are gliomas or astrocytomas.

Low-grade I and II gliomas.

The factors for a good prognosis include the following:

  • Younger than 40 years of age.
  • Tumour diameter less than 6 cm.
  • Tumour that does not exceed the midline.
  • Oligoastrocytoma histological type.
  • Absence of neurological deficits.

Survival for these patients with high-grade tumours varies between 2 and 9 years depending on the prognosis group.

Grade III and IV gliomas

The factors for a good prognosis include the following:

  • Age (younger than 40 years).
  • Good general condition with autonomy.
  • Normal mental state.
  • Achieving a complete surgical resection.

Survival for these patients with high-grade tumours varies between 2 and 6 years depending on the prognosis group.

Laboratory plasma tests can be used for patients who, due to the tumour’s inaccessible location or the patient’s highly deteriorated general condition, cannot undergo surgery.”

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