Thanks to dedicated researchers and clinicians, patients diagnosed with glioblastoma have access to increasing technology and treatments and, as a result, improved prognosis. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with glioblastoma, the following information will help you understand more about your condition, the projected glioblastoma survival rate for 2018 and why survival rates are improving.
An Overview of Glioblastoma
Glioblastomas are the most common primary brain tumor in adults. Though they typically occur in older patients, they can develop in people of all ages. These tumors arise from special cells in the brain called astrocytes and are part of a larger group of tumors called gliomas. Gliomas include astrocytomas and oligodendrogliomas, which differ the types of cells they are made up of and their treatment.
A glioblastoma is the most destructive form of astrocytoma and can spread rapidly into surrounding tissues. This is why glioblastoma treatment involves an aggressive treatment approach that must be started quickly following your diagnosis. It typically involves combining surgery with both radiation therapy and chemotherapy, which can be intense but is necessary in order to combat the aggressive nature of a glioblastoma.
Current Glioblastoma Treatment Options
Your treatment plan will include multiple approaches used together to achieve optimum results. The first step is surgical removal of your tumor, where your surgeon will carefully take out as much as possible without disturbing the surrounding tissues.
Following surgery, you will be treated using radiation therapy for approximately six weeks. This is necessary because there may be some cancer cells remaining following surgery, which could potentially regrow into new tumors if not eradicated.
Concurrent with your radiation therapy, your doctor will also prescribe you an oral chemotherapeutic medicine called temozolomide (Temodar). This pill is taken once daily and is generally well tolerated by most patients. Unlike many medicines, temozolomide is able to cross the body’s protective blood-brain barrier and enter the brain, where it can further help destroy any remaining tumor cells.
Your doctor will develop a treatment plan for your glioblastoma based on what he or she feels is most appropriate for your case. Some patients may require a different course of treatment based on other health conditions, including age. However, 90 percent of glioblastoma treatment plans involve surgery, followed by concurrent radiation and chemotherapy.
Glioblastoma Survival Rate 2018
Current data shows a 30 percent two-year glioblastoma survival rate for 2018. However, many people live beyond two years following diagnosis and rates are improving. This can be attributed to updates in technology, as well as treatment options. Thanks to the dedication of researchers and doctors, the understanding of glioblastoma and how to treat it improves year over year.
In addition, these trends are expected to continue to improve because of innovative new therapies that are currently being tested and showing promise. These include vaccines, new chemotherapeutic agents and the use of magnetic waves to disrupt tumor growth. As new treatment options become approved and available, doctors will have more options in treating glioblastoma, leading to even more improved survival rates over time.
Glioblastoma Treatment at Neurosurgeons of New Jersey
The team at Neurosurgeons of New Jersey is made up of doctors who practice using a patient-centric approach, with your needs as the central focus of all treatment delivery. With strong university ties, Neurosurgeons of New Jersey is at the forefront of research, using evidence-based medicine and cutting-edge technology to treat your glioblastoma.
At Neurosurgeons of New Jersey, patients are treated on an individual basis with the understanding that there is no “one size fits all” therapy. Your doctor will work with you to develop the most effective treatment plan for your glioblastoma given your personal health factors and needs.
Improving Glioblastoma Treatments and an Improving Outlook
As research and clinical trials provide clinicians with greater understanding and more treatment options, glioblastoma survival rates will continue to improve. Every day, new technologies are designed, new medications are developed, and new ideas are born. The future for glioblastoma treatment holds promise, and survival rates will continue to improve as a result.
At this point, if you still have questions regarding glioblastoma survival rates, bring them up with your doctor at your next appointment. He or she can discuss your personal condition with you and provide more specific expectations based on your individual health factors.
Remember, you are not alone during this time. Reach out to family, friends and even your doctor to discuss any concerns you may have. Treatment for any medical condition can be stressful, and glioblastoma is no exception. Allowing those around you to provide support during this time can help relieve some of this stress and let you focus your energy on healing.