Question My mom was diagnosed in May with a glioblastoma. She has since undergone 6 weeks of radiation (daily) and chemotherapy during that same time.
MRIs have shown that the tumor is reduced, but she is not showing signs of improvement. The doctor said that the 'tenticles' of the tumor must be going into the brain since all other tests are coming back normal.
What is the life expectancy at this point? Are these 'tenticles' fast growing?
Answer This is something her doctor should have discussed with you! Even with very aggressive treatment including surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy the prognosis of these tumors is very bad. You do not mention any surgery. Has none been done? Is her tumor inoperable? If no surgery is possible the treatment results can only be expected to be even more limited. But even with full treatment the survival time can at best not be expected to be longer than 1 to 2 years and may be even much shorter than that. I am sorry to bring you such bad news but you have asked me a straight question so I can not honestly tell you anything but the truth. And in this situation I can not say that I am surprised by the result. Even if a far better reduction of her tumor could be observed even to the point where no tumor could be seen any more and her condition had improved to the point of looking like a full recovery it would be only a temporary improvement and her symptoms would after some time - weeks or months - come back. There are a few - very few - cases that are cured. But they are very few and we can not tell in advance if a case is one of them or not. Nor can we afterwards tell why such a case has succeeded so I can not discuss that as a real option. And in this case there seems to be little chance of any improvement. I am very sorry not to have anything better to tell you!
I`m a doctor of medicine and specialist in radiation therapy and medical oncology. I have a long time experience of these tumours.
I'm a Doctor of Medicine and specialist in Medical Oncology and Radiation Therapy, educated and trained in Sweden. Now retired. Background in Radiation Therapy, Medical Oncology, Radiation Protection, Nuclear Medicine, Diagnostic Radiology, Gynecological Oncology, Clinical Pathology, Clinical Cytology,Hematology and Internal Medicine. M.D. from the faculty of medicine, Royal Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. Have also been an exchange student at the Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem Israel. Former medical consultant, Swedish National Board of Radiation Protection. Former Police Surgeon and Medical Examiner, Stockholm Police Department. Former Chief Medical Officer, The Royal Guards, The Royal Horse Guards and the Royal Household Brigade, Royal Swedish Army Medical Corps. You can also reach me on: http://www.lifestylerescue.com/expert/health-fitness-advice/dr-claes-gustaf/128 . I have no restrictions on the number of questions there. I also answer questions about Oncology (General Cancer),
Education/Credentials Doctor of medicine, specialist in medical oncology & radiation therapy.