Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) - Grade IV
- Pronounced GLEE-OH-Blast-oma
- GBM tumors arise from astrocytes - star-shaped cells which form the supportive, glue-like substance of the brain.
- These tumors represent 20% of all primary brain tumors.
- When a tumor diagnosis is given, the tumor is graded from I to IV. The grade is based on how normal or abnormal the cancer cell appear under a microscope. Grade IV tumors appear very abnormal and are always classified as "high grade" tumors for that reason.
- GBMs are generally found in the cerebral hemispheres, but technically can be found anywhere in the brain or spinal cord.
- GBMs are capable of very rapid growth.
- The first symptoms are usually due to increased pressure in the brain and usually present as headaches, seizures, memory loss, and changes in behavior.
- GBMs commonly contain a mix of cell types, and while one cell type may be responsive to treatment, other types may be resistant.
- Every year, approximately 5 out of every 100,000 Americans are diagnosed with GBMs.
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