Understanding Malignant Gliomas
What are malignant gliomas?
Malignant gliomas are the most common type of primary malignant brain tumor. These World Health Organization (WHO) grade III or IV tumors include:
- Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM)
- Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common brain tumor in adults. GBM is a primary brain tumor, which means it originates in the brain tissue.
- GBM has the highest number of cases of all malignant tumors, with an estimated 12,760 new cases predicted in 2018.4
- Anaplastic Ependymoma (AE)
- Anaplastic Astrocytoma (AA)
- Anaplastic Oligendroglioma (AO)
How are malignant gliomas treated?
There are a variety of approaches to treating malignant gliomas, including surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Healthcare providers advise patients on treatment based on the type and grade of brain tumor, its location and size, and the patient’s age and health.
Removing the tumor during surgery:
As part of your treatment plan, your neurosurgeon will be performing surgery to remove as much of your tumor as they can safely remove. This is known as “resection”. The amount of tumor that can be removed is determined by the tumor’s size and location. The goal is to remove as much of the tumor as possible without harming areas of the brain that control critical functions such as speech or balance. Gliomas generally have very small cells that grow into brain tissue, which may make it difficult to see and resect.