Glioblastoma Treatment Overview

A glioblastoma, also called glioblastoma multiforme, is the most common type of primary brain tumor (a tumor that originates in the brain). About 17,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with a primary brain tumor each year.

What is a Glioblastoma?

A glioblastoma is a quick-growing and quickly spreading tumor that originates in the supportive tissue of the brain and spinal cord. It typically affects the brain more often than the spinal cord.

Glioblastoma Treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Doctors and other caregivers at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center (DF/BWCC) will work closely with you and your family to develop a treatment plan suited to your needs. As well as providing specialized medical care, we offer a range of supportive services, including nutritional counseling, emotional and spiritual support, financial advice, and complementary therapies, such as acupuncture and massage.

Cancer neurologists at the Brain Tumor Center treat between 200 and 300 patients with glioblastomas each year. Treatment may include:

  • Surgery followed by radiation therapy – with or without chemotherapy.
  • Targeted chemotherapy during surgery.
  • Simultaneous radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Clinical trials are also available at DF/BWCC. These research studies are designed to help improve current treatments or obtain information on new treatments for patients with cancer. Speak with your physician if you’re interested in taking part in a clinical trial.

E. Antonio Chiocca, MD, PhD, Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery, and Co-Director of the Institute for the Neurosciences at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, describes the current standard of care for malignant gliomas and novel treatments that are being studied. Read the Advancing Malignant Gliomas Treatment video transcript.

Cancer Care at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center is devoted to helping people fight cancer by offering the most advanced treatment with compassion and care. We care for adult patients in 12 specialized centers, each devoted to a different type of cancer.

Part of our commitment to conquering cancer is developing new ways to prevent and screen for cancer, as well as developing new therapies. Milestones include:

  • Development of the CA 125 test, the first and only biomarker for ovarian cancer;
  • Pioneered new approaches in the assessment and treatment of prostate cancer;
  • Development of state-of-the-art surgical techniques for brain surgery.

Patient- and Family-focused Care
Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) has long been committed to not only the care of our patients, but also the many other needs that they and their families have. This philosophy of patient- and family-focused care – involving systems and services that emphasize healing in a comfortable, relaxed environment – is a guiding force behind the care we provide at the DF/BWCC.

Quality of Patient Care
BWH is committed to providing all of our patients with the safest, highest-quality, most-satisfying care possible and follow established protocols that have been shown to improve patient outcomes. Our Inpatient Satisfaction Survey, sent to patients’ to assess their total care experience, helps us to monitor what we are doing well and areas for improvement. We pride ourselves in the Quality of Patient Care we provide and how we compare with other hospitals.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital Cancer Team

The Center for Neuro-Oncology features a multidisciplinary team of specialists, including radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, surgeons, physicists, radiologists, interventional radiologists, endoscopists, pathologists, specialized nursing staff, dietitians, physical therapists, and social workers who use a patient-focused approach to deliver the most effective treatment for each patient. Meet our neuro-oncology team.

Contact Us

If you believe you should have an evaluation and would like to schedule an appointment with one of our neuro-oncology experts, call (617) 732-6600 to speak to one of our knowledgeable coordinators who can help to connect you to the doctor that best meets your needs, or fill out an online appointment request form.

LEARN MORE ABOUT BRIGHAM AND WOMEN’S HOSPITAL


For over a century, a leader in patient care, medical education and research, with expertise in virtually every specialty of medicine and surgery.

About BWH