My hope is that these terms and labels grow in familiarity because of advancement in treatments and saved lives. For today, here is what we mean when we talk about a brain tumor:


• Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) – This tumor forms in the white matter of the brain. GBM represents 52% of all cerebral tumors, and are most common in white and Asian men over the age of 50, even though this aggressive form of brain cancer strikes across all ages and ethnicities.


• Atrocytoma — a tumor that forms from the glial cells in the brain (support cells for neurons). These can be benign or malignant (GBM is a form of strocytoma) and appear in young children as well.


• Oligoendroglioma — arise from the oligodendrocytes (insulating cells for axoms). They appear mostly in adults around age 35 and represent about 10% of all primary brain tumors and tend to recur after treatment.


• Ependymoma — arises from tissues in the brain that surround the drainage system of the brain. They represent about 5% of adult brain tumors, and 10% of pediatric brain tumors, peaking at age 35 and earlier at age 5. Often they end up causing hydrocephalus, or “water on the brain.”


One of the main goals of The Elliott Foundation is to remove the stress that comes from the bombardment of medical terminology and treatment labels. We speak your language as we walk with you on your brain cancer journey while providing the most-up-to-date and credible information on advanced treatment options and comprehensive support services.