Brain Cancer - The Ultimate Clinical Challenge: An Outline of the Biology, Treatment and Research of Glioblastoma Multiforme
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Glioblastoma multifom1e (GBM) is the most common type of malignant brain tumor in adults. This lesion is typically associated with poor survival despite aggressive conventional therapies. Symptom evolution in patients diagnosed with GBM is generally related to tumor location, and rapid deterioration of neurologic function is common. These tumors are composed of necrotic, cystic, and hemorrhagic elements and can possess significant morphological heterogeneity. Aggressive multimodality treatment, which is most appropriate for younger patients with good functional status, typically includes craniotomy for tumor resection, external beam radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and other adjuvant therapies. Because of the aggressive nature of glioblastoma multiforme, most patients suffer tumor recurrence within a year of diagnosis, and most die within two years. None of the available treatment options are curative measures, but rather palliative procedures that ideally offer increased survival and an improved quality of life. Intense research efforts regarding this tumor are ongoing. The most promising research has concentrated on the molecular biology of tumor growth and extension within the central nervous system.