GBM, or glioblastoma, is a type of brain cancer that is derived from astrocytes. Glioblastoma is an aggressive cancer because the cells have a high proliferative rate and there is significant neovascularity.
Signs and symptoms can include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Personality changes
- Numbness or tingling of extremities
- Muscle weakness
- Stroke-like symptoms
The causes of GBM are not well understood. A low percentage of brain tumors (5%) are associated with inherited genes.
At initial diagnoses of GBM, treatment will typically consist of maximal surgical resection, radiotherapy, and concomitant and adjuvant chemotherapy with temozolomide. In patients who are aged 70 years and older, a less aggressive therapy may be considered using just radiation or temozolomide alone.
Other FDA approved therapies include an anti-angiogenic agent, bevacizumab, and tumor-treating fields (TTF). TTF uses alternating electric waves to disrupt cell division in tumor cells. Several immunotherapeutic agents are also being explored in the treatment of GBM.