Glioblastoma multiforme is the most common malignant and aggressive type of tumour that originates in the brain (primary brain tumour).
GBMs arise from glial cells (astrocytes) and infiltrate the surrounding brain tissue. Astrocytes can be categorized into four grades based on the likelihood that they will infiltrate nearby tissue. This process of infiltration into nearby brain tissue may cause life-threatening complications. Normally GBMs do not spread outside of the central nervous system, although this can happen in rare cases. The exact underlying cause of GBM is unknown, but it is believed to be a result of genetic mutations. Some GBM cases may evolve from existing low-grade malignant transformations or they may occur de novo. The symptoms mostly result from increased pressure within the brain, caused either by the tumour itself or by the blockage of fluid-filled spaces in the brain and include persistent headaches, nausea, vomiting, memory loss, seizures, vision problems, changes in mood or personality, loss of speech and language skills and coordination problems. Most cases develop in people between 40 and 60 years. Gliomas are slightly more common in men and in adults. Treatment of GBM involves surgical intervention, radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
Source: raredisease.org; cancercenter.com; braintumourtreatment.com; Kaja Urbańska et al. Contemp.Oncol (2014)