Pediatric Glioblastoma

Pediatric Glioblastoma

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Summary

Glioblastomas (GBM) are tumors in the brain or spinal cord that are usually highly malignant (cancerous).

Expanded overview

Glioblastomas (GBM) are tumors that develop from astrocytes (star-shaped cells that comprise the supportive tissue) of the brain. Because GBM cells reproduce rapidly and are supported by a large network of blood vessels, they are usually cancerous. GBM tumors put extra pressure on the brain, causing the related symptoms.

Types

There are two types of GBM:

  • Primary (de novo) – The most common type of GBM, this type usually forms quickly and children rapidly begin to show symptoms.
  • Secondary – This type of GBM usually grows more slowly, but is still quite aggressive. In many cases, they begin as low-grade tumors (slow rate of growth and high rate of survival) that turn into a higher grade over time.

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of GBM can include:

  • Changes in vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Problems with memory
  • Problems with speech
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness on one side of the body

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