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A glioblastoma is an aggressive type of cancer that forms in the brain or along the spinal cord. It is a primary tumor, meaning it develops in the brain or spinal cord rather than spreading from elsewhere in the body.
Glioblastomas are the most common type of cancerous brain tumor. They begin in cells called astrocytes, which support nerve cells and help them function. In brain tissue, cancer cells grow and spread quickly due to the large supply of blood vessels.
Treatment for glioblastoma aims to slow progression of the cancer and manage symptoms that harm your quality of life.
Our doctors use 3 main categories of treatment for glioblastomas: surgery, radiation therapy, and drug therapy. We often recommend a combination of these treatments, based on the specific details discovered during diagnosis. You and your doctor work together to identify the best option for you, based on factors such as:
Size of the tumor
Aggressiveness of the cancer
What to Expect
As you and your family prepare for your care at Stanford, you’ll likely have many questions. We are here to help you in any way we can and to partner with you before, during and after treatment.
When making recommendations, your Stanford doctors can choose from a range of specialized diagnostic and treatment approaches, including for tissue sampling (biopsy) and surgery.
Improvements in imaging technology, for example, have provided surgeons with valuable tools to locate, identify, and learn more about brain tumors. These image-guided approaches allow them to “map” the brain and separate tumors from healthy tissue. They can also perform safer, less-invasive procedures. Your team will work with you to identify the best option for you.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.