Glioblastoma Multiforme: A Review of its Epidemiology and Pathogenesis through Clinical Presentation and Treatment

Document Type : Systematic Review and Meta-analysis


1 Dow University of Health Sciences

2 Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, The Aga Khan Khan University Medical College, P.O Box 3500, Stadium Road Karachi, Pakistan.

3 Department of Biochemistry, Baqai Medical University, Super Highway, Karachi, Pakistan.

4 Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan.

5 Pharmacology Unit, HEJ Research Institute of Chemistry, International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences, University of Karachi, University Road, Karachi 75270, Pakistan


Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is one of the most malignant types of central nervous system tumors. Despite advances in treatment modalities it remains largely incurable. The objective of our review is to provide a holistic picture of GBM epidemiology, etiology, pathogenesis, clinical findings and treatment. A literature search was conducted for GBM at PubMed and Google Scholar, with relevant key words like glioblastoma multiforme, pathogenesis, signs and symptoms, treatment etc., and papers published until 2015 were reviewed. It was found that radiation and certain genetic syndromes are the only risk factors identified to date for GBM. Depending on the tumor site patients may present to the clinic with varying symptoms. To confirm the presence and the extent of tumor, various invasive and non-invasive imaging techniques require employment. The literature survey revealed the pathogenesis to involve aberrations of multiple signaling pathways through multiple genetic mutations and altered gene expression. Although several treatment options are available, including surgery, along with adjuvant chemo- and radio-therapy, the disease has a poor prognosis and patients generally succumb within 14 months of diagnosis.


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