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What are malignant gliomas?

Linda M. Liau, MD
Neurosurgery
Malignant gliomas, the most common of which is glioblastoma, are primary brain tumors. They are among the most lethal cancers and the second leading cause of cancer death among young adults. The ability of glioblastoma to infiltrate and damage the surrounding brain makes it a particularly devastating tumor, in which complete surgical removal is theoretically impossible. It also is one of the most resistant tumors to radiation and chemotherapy. And because it is not known what causes this tumor to develop, and it is usually detectable only when fully formed, it can't be prevented or caught early.

Progress is being made to treat malignant brain tumors using a strategy that combines multiple options with the ability to predict which therapies will most benefit specific patients. Next-generation gene sequencing techniques make it easier to identify molecular targets and direct people to appropriate clinical trials.
 
This content originally appeared online at UCLA Health.

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