Gamma Knife® Surgery Treatment of Glioblastoma
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Glioblastoma (GBM) are tumors that arise from astrocytes — the star-shaped cells that make up the “glue-like” or supportive tissue of the brain. These tumors are usually highly malignant (cancerous) because the cells reproduce quickly, and they are supported by a large network of blood vessels.
This tumor represents about 15.4% of all primary brain tumors and about 60-75% of all astrocytomas. They increase in frequency with age, and affect more men than women.
Because glioblastoma can grow rapidly, the most common symptoms are usually caused by increased pressure in the brain. These symptoms can include headache, nausea, vomiting, and drowsiness.
Glioblastoma can be difficult to treat because the tumors contain so many different types of cells. Some cells may respond well to certain therapies, while others may not be affected at all. This is why the treatment plan for glioblastoma may combine several approaches. Gamma Knife® radiosurgery treatment may be used in addition to surgery, conventional radiation, and chemotherapy.
When Gamma Knife® treatment is selected, there are several advantages to this approach for the patient:
- Treatment in one session
- Less damage to healthy cells and tissue
- Faster recovery times
- Better quality of life