Disease Information

Brain Tumor: Gliomatosis Cerebri

Definition

This condition is similar to glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), but the cells of gliomatosis cerebri are more scattered and widespread. The diffuse nature of gliomatosis causes enlargement of the cerebrum, cerebellum, or brain stem.

Symptoms are often nonspecific, and can include personality changes, memory disturbance, and seizures. These malignant tumors commonly invade adjacent tissue and spread throughout the central nervous system. These tumors most frequently arise in the white matter of the frontal lobes of the cerebral hemispheres.

Incidence

Gliomatosis cerebri represent less than 3 percent of pediatric brain tumors.

Survival Rates

With the use of radiation therapy and chemotherapy, survival is about 5 percent.

Treatment Strategies

The first procedure, if the tumor is accessible, is surgery. If surgery is not an option, a biopsy might be recommended to confirm the type of tumor. Surgery rarely controls the tumor, because cells of the tumor stray into other areas of the brain. Radiation therapy usually follows the surgical procedure. Chemotherapy might be given before, during, or after radiation. Chemotherapy might be used in children younger than age 3 to delay radiation. Recurrent tumors can be treated with additional surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.

Current Research

 

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