Glioblastoma Multiforme Treatment

Leading neurosurgeons treat glioblastoma multiforme in Israel at Herzliya Medical Center with the most modern methods of treatment, allowing achievement of excellent results and high percentage of cancer survival.

Glioblastoma Multiforme

Glioblastoma Multiforme, GBM (grade IV astrocytoma or glioblastoma) is a malignant type of brain tumor, originating from glial cells (supportive tissue of the central nervous system) called astrocytes. This highly aggressive form of brain cancer belongs to gliomas of the brain and are fast-growing tumors, supported by a rich blood supply. Gliomas are substantially different from one another depending on their ability to infiltrate surrounding tissues and metastasize.

Early stage Glioblastoma Multiforme penetrates the capsule of the primary tumor; it continues to deeply invade surrounding structures of the brain and is considered a fourth grade (IV) astrocytoma – the highest grade of malignancy.

Astrocytomas are a type of glioma (others include ependymomas, oligodendrogliomas and mixed gliomas); grade IV astrocytoma are the highest grade of astrocytomas that are fast growing and spreading to other areas.

Glioblastoma Multiforme Symptoms

Glioblastoma multiforme usually occurs in adults and has an effect on mainly the frontal and temporal lobes. Symptoms of Glioblastoma Multiform are most often associated with progressive increase in intracranial pressure causing headaches and nausea (similarly to other brain tumor symptoms). However, symptoms associated with multiple destructive foci of the tumor as follows:

  • Changes in mood and behavior
  • Hallucinations
  • Feelings of aggression
  • Psychomotor agitation
  • Speech difficulties
  • Movement difficulties
  • Seizures and convulsions

The symptoms of astrocytoma (of the fourth degree) progresses rapidly with growth of the tumor and lead to severe disability. Tumor invasion into large blood vessels can cause severe intracerebral hemorrhage, which can be life threatening.

Glioblastoma Multiforme Diagnosis at HMC

Diagnosis of glioblastoma multiforme is conducted through a variety of methods:

  • History of the disease and clinical signs
  • Modern visual brain imaging technology - computer tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS)
  • Analysis of metabolic activity in the primary tumor and metastatic lesions - positron emission tomography (PET-CT)
  • Histological analysis. A biopsy of the tumor tissue is of great diagnostic value, however, it is not always possible due to the anatomical location of the tumor. Experts of neurosurgery in Israel are able to perform a biopsy of inaccessible areas of the brain using stereotactic, minimally invasive methods, allowing them to obtain necessary data without putting patients at risk of complications

Glioblastoma Multiforme Treatment at HMC

Aggressive growth and highly invasive glioblastoma multiforme make complete removal of the tumor difficult to achieve. Even with early detection, there is high risk of relapse. Surgical treatment of highly malignant gliomas in Israel is approached with the following objectives:

  • In some cases, small tumors, non-contiguous to large vessels or vital centers cannot be removed completely. The development of surgical techniques allow recent and positive increases in the number of successful procedures for malignant glioma in Israel
  • Reducing the size of the tumor by partial removal - debulking, increases effectiveness of complementary therapies and works to eliminate symptoms associated with pressure applied by the tumor on surrounding brain tissue
  • Palliative surgery to reduce intracranial pressure. Surgical procedures involving a ventricular-pleural (less ventricular-peritoneal) shunt effectively normalize pressure in the brain and reduce severe symptoms that may be caused by its progressive growth

Brain Cancer Treatment: Conservative Therapy and Innovative Techniques

Due to high metabolic activity, fourth grade astrocytoma are sensitive to anticancer drugs and ionizing radiation, both of which having considerable importance in brain cancer treatment.

Among the conservative methods of treatment of glioblastoma multiforme at HMC in Israel are among the following:

  • External radiation (conventional radiotherapy) often has a positive effect. Depending on the type, size and location of the tumor, patients are administered 10 to 30 sessions
  • Radiosurgery (stereotactic radiation, Gamma Knife) - this innovative technique allows doctors the ability to destroy malignant neoplasm using high-power, precise and focused gamma irradiation. The procedure is also effective in cases of cancer recurrence and may be repeated as needed without causing significant side effects. The use of stereotactic radiosurgery has changed patients outlook for those with previously considered inoperable forms of the disease and has significantly increased survival rates
  • Chemotherapy is used to treat gliomas in Israel, often in combination with surgery or radiotherapy. As part of fundamental treatment for glioblastoma multiforme, experts at HMC in Israel use the highly efficiency drug Temozolomide (temozolomide)
  • Symptomatic drug therapy can also aid in control of symptoms associated with a tumor, improving patients overall condition and helps to reduce likelihood of complications, while improving efficiency of the fundamental treatment.

Innovative techniques used in the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme at Herzliya Medical Center in Israel not only achieves effective control of tumor growth, but also maintains the brains functional capacity, while also working to prevent complications.

A number of entirely new drugs and gene therapies are passing last stage of clinical trials, showing promising results as the next arsenal of effective treatment of brain cancer in Israel.

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