Key Takeaways

  • Diffuse gliomas are tumors that arise within the central nervous system.
  • Headache and seizure are common presenting symptoms.
  • Most gliomas occur in people without risk factors.
  • Neurological examination, imaging, and tissue biopsy are the mainstays of glioma diagnosis.
  • Surgical resection, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are the primary treatment options.

Glioma is a brain tumor that develops from an abnormal glial cell. Glial cells and neurons (nerve cells) make up brain tissue. While neurons process and relay information, glial cells provide insulation, maintain homeostasis, assist in immune defense, and help neurons communicate with one another.

The four subtypes of glioma are:

Together they account for more than 78% of all primary brain tumors. It’s important to accurately diagnose the glioma subtype because each differs in prognosis (disease course and aggressiveness) and response to medication. The subtype is determined by its histology (cellular appearance under the microscope) and molecular analysis (genetic testing).