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Brain Cancer Health Center

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Glioblastoma Multiforme

It is possible that the main title of the report Glioblastoma Multiforme is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.


Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common malignant primary brain tumor. These tumors are often aggressive and infiltrate surrounding brain tissue. GBMs arise from glial cells, which are cells that form the tissue that surrounds and protects other nerve cells found within the brain and spinal cord. GBMs are mainly composed of star-shaped glial cells known as astrocytes. The general term glioma includes any type of brain tumor such as astrocytoma and oligodendroglioma that arise from glial cells.

Astrocytomas are classified according to a grading system developed by the World Health Organization (WHO). Astrocytomas come in four grades based upon how fast the cells are reproducing and that likelihood that they will infiltrate nearby tissue. Grades I or II astrocytomas are nonmalignant and may be referred to as low-grade. Grades III and IV astrocytomas are malignant and may be referred to as high-grade astrocytomas. Grade III astrocytomas are known as anaplastic astrocytomas. Grade IV astrocytomas are known as glioblastoma multiforme.


American Brain Tumor Association
8550 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue, Suite 550
Chicago, IL 60631
Tel: (773)577-8750
Fax: (773)577-8738
Tel: (800)886-2282

American Childhood Cancer Organization
10920 Connecticut Ave
Suite A
Kensington, MD 20895
Tel: (301)962-3520
Fax: (301)962-3521
Tel: (800)366-2223

American Cancer Society, Inc.
250 Williams NW St
Ste 6000
Atlanta, GA 30303
Tel: (404)320-3333
Tel: (800)227-2345
TDD: (866)228-4327

Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center
McLean Hospital
115 Mill Street
Belmont, MA 02178
Tel: (617)855-2400
Fax: (617)855-3199
Tel: (800)272-4622

National Cancer Institute
6116 Executive Blvd Suite 300
Bethesda, MD 20892-8322
Tel: (301)435-3848
Tel: (800)422-6237
TDD: (800)332-8615

Children's Brain Tumor Foundation
274 Madison Avenue, Suite 1004
New York, NY 10016
United States
Tel: (212)448-1595
Fax: (212)448-1022
Tel: (866)228-4673

Brain Tumor Foundation for Children, Inc.
6065 Roswell Road Suite 505
Atlanta, GA 30328-4015
Tel: (404)252-4107
Fax: (404)252-4108

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223

Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation
302 Ridgefield Court
Asheville, NC 28806
Tel: (828)665-6891
Fax: (828)665-6894
Tel: (800)253-6530

Friends of Cancer Research
1800 M Street NW
Suite 1050 South
Washington, DC 22202
Tel: (202)944-6700

Cancer Support Community
1050 17th St NW Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: (202)659-9709
Fax: (202)974-7999
Tel: (888)793-9355

Lance Armstrong Foundation
2201 E. Sixth Street
Austin, TX 78702
Tel: (512)236-8820
Fax: (512)236-8482
Tel: (877)236-8820

National Brain Tumor Society
55 Chapel Street
Suite 200
Newton, MA 02458
Tel: (617)924-9997
Fax: (617)924-9998
Tel: (800) 770-8287

For a Complete Report:

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site or email

Last Updated: 5/12/2009
Copyright 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2007 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

WebMD Medical Reference from the National Organization for Rare Disorders

Last Updated: May 28, 2015
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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