• A high power photograph of a very cellular,
pleomophic brain tumor known as the glioblastoma multiforme.
• This tumor makes up 50% of gliomas and is highly
• The survival time is 6 months to a year after diagnosis, even with radiation and chemotherapy.
•The exact etiology is not known but has to do
several mutations in protooncogenes and tumor
•Some appear as a part of several hereditary syndromes
such as neurofibromatosis or Turcot^s syndrome.
•The cause of the
glioblastoma or any brain tumor is not
known but changes or loss of chromosome 17 and inactivation
of a tumor suppressor gene, p53, play a role. Thus far,
we do not know what precipitates these changes.
•Glioblastomas are the most comman primary brain tumor.
•They account for 50% of all gliomas and arise after
age 50 in most patients.
•Younger patients tend to have a better prognosis than
•Radiation and chemotherapy appear to extend the life of
•Slowly progressive focal
•Aggressive neoplasms with overall poor prognosis.
•For more information on prognosis and treatment, consult the NCI web site.
|General Gross Description|
•The glioblastoma multiforme has a multiform or variable
appearance with evidence of old and recent hemorrhage
(yellowish-brown to red), necrosis and areas of
•Usually the glioblastoma is seen as a mass lesion
involving a focal area although it may cross the
corpus callosum to the other hemisphere or be multifocal.
|General Micro Description|
•Microscopically the glioblastoma has many forms as well.
•Is a highly cellular tumor with pleomorphic, basophilic
nuclei with indistinct cytoplasmic borders or plump
pink cytoplasm and a delicate fibrillary background.
•Mitoses,necrosis, and capillary endothelial
proliferation are common.
• Cotran RS, Kumar V, Robbins SL: Robbins Pathologic Basis of Disease. 5th ed. Philadelphia, W.B. Saunders, 1994, pp. 1342-1344.
• Poirer J et.al. Manual of basic neuropathology. Philadelphia: Saunders, 1990, pp. 25-26.