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Diagnosis and New Treatment Modalities for Glioblastoma: Do They Improve Patient Survival?

[ Vol. 16 , Issue. 5 ]


R. Alcedo-Guardia, E. Labat, D. Blas-Boria and P.E. Vivas-Mejia   Pages 447 - 464 ( 18 )


Central nervous system (CNS) malignances include tumors of the brain and spinal cord. Taking into account the cell type where they originate from, there are almost 120 different types of CNS tumors. Benign tumors are not aggressive and normally do not invade other organs; however, they require surgical removal before they alter the surrounding brain functions. Primary malignant brain tumors commonly include astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas, and ependimomas, where astrocytomas represent around 76%. The World Health Organization (WHO) has defined four histological grades of astrocytomas that range from the less aggressive tumors (grade I) to highly malignant tumors (grade IV). These grade IV tumors, also called glioblastoma (GBM), are the most aggressive of the primary malignant brain tumors. Patients with GBM have a median survival of 12 to 15 months. Current treatment for GBM includes surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Although there have been some advances in diagnosis and treatment, there is still no optimal treatment available for GBMs. In this review, we will discuss the approaches for GBM diagnosis and treatment, with a special emphasis on post-treatment imaging, and whether novel targeted therapies have impacted the survival of GBM patients. In addition, we will discuss clinical trials and the future of GBM diagnosis and treatment.


Glioblastoma, GBM, diagnosis, treatment, clinical trials, radiotherapy, temozolomide.


Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus, San Juan, PR 00936

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