Glioblastoma, formerly known as glioblastoma multiforme, is a type of brain cancer that develops in the astrocytes, which are small, star-shaped cells found in the supportive tissue of the brain. This type of cancer can develop anywhere in the brain or spinal cord, but is most commonly seen in the frontal and temporal lobes of the cerebrum. Because astrocytes are fed by a large network of blood vessels, glioblastomas tend to grow very quickly. However, it’s very rare for a glioblastoma to spread outside of the brain.
Glioblastomas are usually made up of cells that can vary in their genetic makeup. This heterogeneity or diversity can complicate treatment. Because treatments that can destroy one group of glioblastoma cells may have little to no impact on others, neuro-oncologists must combine several therapies into a comprehensive treatment plan and carefully monitor each patient’s progress.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, patients can receive individualized glioblastoma treatment from a team of medical and surgical neuro-oncologists who only treat tumors of the brain and spinal cord. Every patient’s treatment plan is collaboratively designed by several neurosurgeons, medical neuro-oncologists, radiation oncologists and supportive care providers; additionally, a patient’s progress is reviewed by our weekly multispecialty Neuro-Oncology tumor board.
The glioblastoma treatments offered at Moffitt Cancer Center include:
- Craniotomy for tumor resection (including awake craniotomies)
- MRI-guided laser ablation
- Stereotactic radiosurgery
- Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
- Oral and intravenous chemotherapy
- Biological, genetic and hormone therapies
- Clinical trials
Not only do we offer an extensive range of glioblastoma treatments; we also have a robust portfolio of clinical trials for this type of brain cancer to help evaluate the newest and most promising options. These opportunities can be especially beneficial for patients whose glioblastoma did not respond well to traditional treatments or have come back after a period of remission. At Moffitt, we place a heavy emphasis on translational research; our team works tirelessly to turn scientific discoveries into effective new glioblastoma therapies.
Medically reviewed by Dr. Michael Vogelbaum, Program Leader, Department of Neuro-Oncology.