Surgical removal or biopsy are standard initial treatment strategies for newly diagnosed or recurrent glioblastomas.
Commonly, we use radiation therapy and chemotherapy in conjunction with surgery to treat a glioblastoma.
Surgery for glioblastoma
The UPMC neurosurgical team will carefully evaluate you — looking at your condition from every direction — to find the path that is least disruptive to your brain, critical nerves, and ability to return to normal functioning.
Our neurosurgeons often use image-guided surgery, accompanied by pre- or intraoperative brain mapping, to improve our ability to remove the glioblastoma safely.
Gamma Knife® radiosurgery
Despite an initial multipronged treatment for glioblastomas, some people with residual tumor or tumor recurrence often need additional options.
One option is Gamma Knife radiosurgery, a painless method to non-invasively boost the effectiveness of radiation delivered to the tumor.
UPMC is the nation's leading provider of Gamma Knife procedures. Our team has treated more than 12,000 patients with tumors, vascular malformations, pain, and functional problems.
Our team may also perform stereotactic radiosurgery using the Cyberknife or other linear accelerator-based systems.
Radiation therapy and chemotherapy for treating glioblastomas
Fractionated radiation is commonly used to treat glioblastomas, either alone or in combination with surgery and/or chemotherapy.
We deliver radiation therapy:
- Externally, by directing radiation at the glioblastoma from an outside source.
- Internally, by placing radioactive material directly in the body near the cancer.
Chemotherapy uses drugs to stop the growth of glioblastoma cancer cells and may be taken by mouth, injected, or placed directly into the brain tumor site.