What are surgical options for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM)?

Updated: Jul 01, 2019
  • Author: Jeffrey N Bruce, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert H Engelhard, III, MD, PhD, FACS, FAANS  more...
  • Print

Surgical options include gross total resection (better survival), subtotal resection, and biopsy. Because GBM cannot be cured surgically, the surgical goals are as follows:

  • To establish a pathologic diagnosis

  • To relieve any mass effect

  • If possible, to achieve a gross total resection to facilitate adjuvant therapy [26]

In some cases, stereotactic biopsy followed by radiation therapy (eg, for patients with a tumor located in an eloquent area of the brain, patients whose tumors have minimal mass effect, and patients in poor medical condition who cannot undergo general anesthesia). The extent of surgery (biopsy vs resection) has been shown in a number of studies to affect length of survival. 

See Treatment and Medication for more detail.

For patient education resources, see the Cancer Center as well as the patient education article Brain Cancer.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!