Glioblastoma

Overview

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), also called grade IV astrocytoma, is the most malignant of all brain tumors. Almost 50% of primary brain tumors are astrocytomas (arising from star-shaped glial cells that surround and protect nerve cells in the central nervous system) and over 60% of all astrocytomas are glioblastomas. When glial cells start reproducing rapidly and infiltrate large areas of nearby tissue, they are graded as GBMs. GBMs have dead cells in the center and continuously cause new blood vessels to form to feed their rapid growth, which results in increased pressure on the brain. However, like most types of cancer, the exact cause for glioblastoma is not known.

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