Glioma

Also known as: mixed glioma, astrocytoma, ependymoma, optic glioma, gliomatosis cerebri

What is glioma?

Glioma is a form of cancer that develops from glial cells of the brain - those cells which support and nourish the neurons.

Gliomas can vary depending the type of glial cell found:

They also vary depending on their location (brainstem/optic nerve/spine or other part of the brain), and on their grade (depending on how normal or abnormal the cells appear):
  • low grade tumors (grades 1 and 2; 66%; localized and grow slowly)
  • higher grade (3 and 4 grow faster)

What causes glioma?

Cause is unknown, though it appears that some genetic disorders increase the likelihood of their development.

What are the symptoms of glioma?

Symptoms will vary depending on the exact type of glioma, its size and location. Some common symptoms include seizures, headaches, speech problems, numbness or weakness in the face, legs or arms.

What are glioma care options?

Treatments may include all or some of, surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible, chemotherapy (before or after surgery), and radiation therapy.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: December 16, 2020 02:22 PM

Neuro-Oncology Program

The Neuro-Oncology Program incorporates a multidisciplinary team who contribute to the diagnosis and treatment of all types of benign or malignant tumors of the brain and spinal cord.

Learn more

Learn more about

Astrocytoma

An Astrocytoma is a form of brain tumor (benign or cancerous), that develops in the cells that form the supportive tissue of the brain. Learn more

Malignant Glioma

Gliomas are tumors formed from cells (glial cells) that hold the nerve cells in the brain in place, protect them and provide them with food and oxygen. Gliomas are divided into four grades of severity (1-1V) depending on the tumor cells’ appearance. The higher the grade the more severe the glioma. Learn more

Hereditary Paraganglioma-Pheochromocytoma Syndrome

Children with hereditary paraganglioma-pheochromocytoma syndrome are often under frequent monitoring due to their high risk of developing cancer. The presence of the tumors, often in large numbers, is the primary sign of this disease. Learn more

Anaplastic Astrocytoma

Astrocytes cells are a diverse group of cells which play many roles in the brain, but particularly form the physical and physiological supportive system for the brain’s neurons. Astrocytomas are tumors that grow from these cells and make up almost 50% of childhood brain tumors, frequently occurring in children between 5-9 years of age. Learn more

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a common form of cancer treatment. It refers to drugs that are often used to kill cancer cells and prevent them from coming back. Learn more

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is a common form of cancer treatment. It refers to exposing the body to beams of radiation that are used to kill cancer cells and prevent them from coming back. Learn more