Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM): An aggressive brain cancer
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a type of brain cancer that is characterized by its aggressive nature and poor prognosis. Unfortunately, there is limited information available on the incidence of GBM in Bangladesh. However, it is estimated that the incidence of brain tumors in general is around 2-3 cases per 100,000 individuals in Bangladesh.
The clinical presentation of GBM can vary depending on the location of the tumor in the brain. Common symptoms of GBM include headache, nausea, vomiting, seizures, cognitive impairment, weakness, and changes in vision or speech.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the gold standard imaging modality for the diagnosis of GBM. The typical MRI sequences used for the diagnosis of GBM include T1-weighted, T2-weighted, fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR), and gadolinium-enhanced T1-weighted images.
After radiological diagnosis, post-surgery histopathology and molecular testing of the biopsy sample can help to identify specific genetic mutations or biomarkers that may guide treatment decisions. GBM is classified as a grade IV Astrocytoma, which is the most aggressive type of brain tumor. GBM can also be further classified based on specific genetic mutations or biomarkers, such as IDH status.
Available Treatment Facilities for GBM in Bangladesh
The treatment of GBM typically involves a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Surgery is typically the first-line treatment and aims to remove as much of the tumor as possible. Radiation therapy is typically administered after surgery. Radiation therapy is being administered using external beam radiation. Chemotherapy may also be used in conjunction with radiation therapy. Usually oral chemotherapeutic agent is used.
The prognosis for GBM is poor, with a median survival of approximately 15 months. The use of radiation therapy and chemotherapy can improve outcomes. Currently almost all sort of treatment facilities of GMB is readily available in many centers in Bangladesh. Proper quality assurance in radiotherapy is the key concern for outcome.
Dr. Arman Reza Chowdhury
Consultant – Radiation Oncology