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  • Procedure Time
    3-5 hours
  • Overnight stay
    3-10 nights
  • Anaesthesia
  • Recovery Time
    4-8 weeks

What is Glioblastoma?

Glioblastoma is a primary malignant brain tumor that can occur in the brain or spinal cord. It consists of cells called astrocytes that provide support to nerve cells.

Glioblastoma can occur at any age, but tends to occur most often in older adults.

What are the signs and symptoms of Glioblastoma?

It can cause progressive headaches, nausea, vomiting and seizures.

Glioblastoma, also known as glioblastoma multiforme, can be very difficult to treat and often not completely cured. Treatments can slow the progression of cancer and reduce signs and symptoms.

How is the glioblastoma diagnosed?

Tests and methods used to diagnose glioblastoma include:

Neurological examination; During the neurological examination, your doctor will ask you about the signs and symptoms. It can check your vision, hearing, balance, coordination, strength and reflexes. Problems with one or more of these issues could be a clue to the part of your brain that has been affected by a brain tumor.

Imaging methods; Imaging methods can help your doctor detect the location and size of the brain tumor. MR is often used to diagnose brain tumors and can sometimes be used in conjunction with functional MR or specialized MR imaging such as magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Other imaging modalities may be CT and positron emission tomography (PET).

Removal of tissue sample for testing (Biopsy); Biopsy to remove glioblastoma can be done with a needle before or during surgery, depending on your particular situation and the location of the tumor. Suspicious tissue sample is examined in the laboratory for cell types and aggressiveness.

Tests specific to tumor cells can tell your doctor the types of mutations that cells subsequently acquire. In this way, your doctor gets clues about the progression of the disease and guides the treatment options.

What are the treatment methods of the glioblastoma?

Treatment options for glioblastoma:

Surgery to remove glioblastoma; Your neurosurgeon will try to remove the glioblastoma. The goal is to remove as much of the tumor as possible. However, it is not possible to completely remove gliosblastoma because it grows into normal brain tissue. For this reason, many patients receive additional treatments after surgery to target cells that will recur.

Radiotherapy uses high-energy rays such as X-rays or protons to kill cancer cells. During radiotherapy, as you lie on a table, a device that moves around you directs rays to specific points in your brain.

Radiotherapy is usually recommended after surgery and may be given in conjunction with chemotherapy. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy can be used as the first treatment option for individuals who are not suitable for surgical intervention.

Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. In some cases, thin, round drug capsules containing chemotherapy drugs are inserted into the brain during surgery. The capsules dissolve slowly, releasing the drug in their content and killing cancer cells.

The chemotherapy drug theozolomide (Temodar), taken as a pill, is often given during and after post-surgical radiotherapy.

If glioblastoma recurs, other types of chemotherapy may be recommended. These other types are usually administered by being given into a vein in the arm.

· Electric field therapy (Tumor Treating Fields-TTF). TTF uses an electric field to disrupt the ability of tumor cells to proliferate. It is applied with parts to be adhered to your scalp. These parts are connected to a portable device that generates an electric field.

TTF can be given with chemotherapy and may be recommended after radiotherapy.

· Targeted drug therapy; Targeted drugs focus on specific abnormalities that cause cancer cells to grow and spread. The drugs focus on these abnormalities and cause the cancer cells to die.

· Bevacizumab (Avastin) targets the message from glioblastoma cells to the body that causes new blood vessels to form and supply blood and nutrients to cancer cells. In cases where glioblastoma recurs or does not respond to other treatments, bevacizumab may be an option.

· Clinical trials; Clinical trials are studies of new treatments. These studies give you the chance to try current treatment options, but the risks of side effects may not be known. Ask your doctor if you are eligible for a clinical trial.

· Supportive (palliative) care; Palliative care is specialized medical care that focuses on relieving the pain or other symptoms of a serious illness. Palliative care professionals work with you, your family, and other doctors to provide an extra layer of support that complements your ongoing treatment. Palliative care can be combined with other severe treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy.