Primary brain tumors are classified according to their predominant cell type. Glial neoplasms are the most common primary intracranial malignancies and are classified as astrocytic tumors, oligodendroglial tumors, and ependymal tumors. Astrocytomas are the most common variant of glioma, and most adult astrocytomas are of high grade. Of these, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), or astrocytoma grade IV, represents the most common subtype [1], making this the most common malignant tumor in adults. Despite the best contemporary use of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, long-term survival of patients with GBM has been distinctly uncommon. In unselected series, the 5-year survival has been as low as 2% [2], [3]. Anaplastic astrocytoma (AA), or astrocytoma grade III, represents less than 20% of malignant gliomas and is associated with a more favorable outcome [1], [4]. For the scope of this chapter, only high-grade astrocytic tumors will be discussed.


Malignant Glioma Radiat Oncol Biol Phys Glioblastoma Multiforme Anaplastic Astrocytoma Radiation Therapy Oncology Group 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Roberge
    • 1
  • Luis Souhami
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Oncology, Division of Radiation OncologyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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