What is a glioblastoma?

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Ben and Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment

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The Ben & Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment specializes in treating patients with glioblastomas, the most common and aggressive type of brain cancer. Our brain cancer research efforts, done in collaboration with renowned scientists across the country, are resulting in new hope for patients fighting this overwhelming disease.

The Ivy Center is built around a multidisciplinary, specialized team of neurosurgeons, neuro-oncologists, neuroradiologists, radiation oncologists, nurses and social workers focused on treating benign and malignant tumors. Located in Seattle, the Ivy Center draws patients from all over the world.

About Glioblastomas

Glioblastomas are malignant, highly invasive tumors that spread quickly and often recur following treatment. They are a type of astrocytoma and are categorized as a grade 4. They can spread rapidly to other parts of the brain and can become very large before producing any symptoms.

Symptoms of Glioblastoma

Glioblastoma causes symptoms by invading or growing into and/or creating pressure in nearby normal brain tissue. Symptoms will vary based on the location of the tumor and the part of the brain affected.

The most common symptoms are headache and seizures. Other symptoms may include memory loss, muscle weakness, visual symptoms, difficulty in using or understanding language and personality changes.

Symptom Management

Seizures and swelling in the brain can cause serious symptoms that may be life-threatening. Medicinal or surgical treatment to alleviate these symptoms may be required in addition to treating the tumor itself.

Treatment Options for Glioblastoma

Treatment options vary for each individual patient’s unique situation. Initial treatment of glioblastoma is usually neurosurgery, removing as much of the tumor as possible.

Surgical removal of 100 percent of glioblastoma tumor cells is impossible due to microscopic tumor cells that grow beyond the edge of the tumor. Radiation treatment typically follows surgical treatment to kill any remaining tumor cells.

Chemotherapy is often used in combination with radiation therapy and has been shown to improve survival rates.

Clinical Trials

The Ivy Center is dedicated to providing patients with the best treatment options that current medical technology has to offer and provides our patients with access to innovative and promising clinical trials.