What are the goals for surgery in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM)?

Updated: Jul 28, 2021
  • Author: Jeffrey N Bruce, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert H Engelhard, III, MD, PhD, FACS, FAANS  more...
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Because glioblastomas cannot be cured with surgery, the surgical goals are to establish a pathological diagnosis, relieve mass effect, and, if possible, achieve a gross total resection to facilitate adjuvant therapy. [64] Most glioblastomas recur in and around the original tumor bed, but contralateral and distant recurrences are not uncommon, especially with lesions near the corpus callosum.

The indications for reoperation after initial treatment with surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are not firmly established. Reoperation is generally considered in the face of a life-threatening recurrent mass, particularly if radionecrosis rather than recurrent tumor is suspected as the cause of clinical and radiographic deterioration. Positron emission tomography (PET) scans and magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy have proven useful in discriminating between those 2 entities.

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