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Glioma is a type of tumor that occurs in the brain and spinal cord. 

The brain tissue is primarily made up of cells responsible for transmitting impulses, known as nerve cells or neurons. Interestingly, the most abundant group of cells in the brain is referred to as ‘glial’ cells, which provide support and nourishment to the nerve cells. Among these glial cells, the most common type is the astrocyte, and tumors originating from astrocytes are termed astrocytomas. Other types of glial cells include Oligodendroglia (tumors arising from these are called oligodendrogliomas) and ependymal cells (tumors arising from these are referred to as ependymomas). Collectively, tumors originating from any of these three cell types are broadly termed gliomas.

Treatment of Glioma

Treatment for glioma depends on the type, size, grade and location of the tumor, as well as your age, overall health and preferences. In addition to actions to remove the tumor itself, treatment for glioma may also require using drugs to reduce the signs and symptoms of your tumor. Your doctor may prescribe steroids to reduce swelling and relieve pressure on affected areas of the brain. Anti-epileptic drugs may be used to control seizures.

Innovative treatments

Brain cancer research is a very active field of study. Researchers are investigating new ways to deliver drugs to brain tumors, including pumps that release a continuous, slow flow of chemotherapy or targeted drug therapies to a tumor. This type of treatment is called convection-enhanced delivery (CED). Another type of therapy uses technology called tumor treating fields (Optune) to deliver electric fields to the brain, which can help stop the proliferation of cancer cells. Optune is a wearable, portable device and is used in combination with temozolomide to treat newly diagnosed glioblastoma in adults.

Implanted, biodegradable wafer therapy (Gliadel) relies on an implanted disc to release chemotherapy to tumor tissue that remains after surgery. And in nanoparticle therapy, particles with an unusually high surface area carry chemotherapy across the blood-brain barrier directly to a tumor