Glioblastoma is an aggressive type of cancer that can occur in the brain or spinal cord. Glioblastoma forms from cells called astrocytes that support nerve cells.
Glioblastoma can occur at any age, but tends to occur more often in older adults. It can cause worsening headaches, nausea, vomiting and seizures.
Glioblastoma, also known as glioblastoma multiforme, can be very difficult to treat and a cure is often not possible. Treatments may slow progression of the cancer and reduce signs and symptoms.
Glioblastoma is an aggressive type of astrocytoma, a brain tumor named for the star-shaped cells called astrocytes from which it forms. It is the most common form of brain cancer in adults, accounting for 35-40% of malignant brain tumors.
Approximately 14,000 cases of glioblastoma are diagnosed each year in the United States. They are primary tumors, meaning they originate in the brain rather than spreading to the brain from cancer elsewhere in the body. This type of brain cancer is typically extremely aggressive but rarely spreads outside of the brain.
The disease tends to occur in active, otherwise healthy people, and more frequently in males. Symptoms include headache, memory problems, weakness on one side of the body, difficulty thinking and speaking, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, and seizures. The onset of symptoms can be sudden and acute; however, in some patients, there may be gradual changes, such as problems with language, concentration, or coordination and strength on one side of the body.