Glioblastoma Multiforme

What Is It?

Glioblastoma multiforme is a fast-growing brain or spinal cord tumor. It affects the brain more often than the spinal cord. These tumors grow from glial cells which form the (supportive) tissue of the brain and spinal cord. Glioblastoma multiforme is also called glioblastoma, grade IV astrocytoma, or GBM.

As it grows, a brain tumor can press against or damage nerves or other structures. This can interfere with the brain's normal functioning. For example, a brain tumor can disrupt:

  • Thought

  • Memory

  • Emotion

  • Movement

  • Vision

  • Hearing

  • Touch

Scientists do not know what causes most brain tumors. However, they are working to better understand the biology of glioblastoma multiforme and identify possible environmental, occupational, family, and genetic risk factors.

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