Skip Navigation

What is Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) and Anaplastic Astrocytoma?

  • Glioblastoma Multiformes (GBMs) and anaplastic astrocytomas are high-grade gliomas that arise from the brain's supportive tissue, known as glial cells. These are aggressive tumors that rapidly infiltrate adjacent healthy brain tissue and, as a result, are difficult to treat.

    Childhood glioblastoma multiformes and anaplastic astrocytomas usually develop between the ages of 5 and 9. GBMs and anaplastic astrocytoma occur with increased frequency in children with certain genetic syndromes, including neurofibromatosis 1, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer and tuberous sclerosis. Most of these tumors, however, have no known cause.

    GBM and Anaplastic Astrocytoma Treatment at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s

    Children with GBMs or anaplastic astrocytoma are treated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's through our Glioma Program, one of the world's largest treatment programs focused on childhood gliomas. Our brain tumor specialists have extensive expertise in treating all types of gliomas, including GBMs and anaplastic astrocytomas. Our patients receive multidisciplinary care from neuro-oncologists, neurosurgeons, neurologists, and pediatric subspecialists.

    Learn more

    Find more in-depth information on glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) on the Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s website, including glioblastoma multiforme causes, diagnosis, treatment and latest research.