In the News: Glioblastoma
July 21, 2017

St. Luke’s chief of neurological surgery, Hugh Moulding, MD, shares some high-level information on glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer.

What is glioblastoma? 

Glioblastoma is the most common malignant primary brain tumor, or, in other words, the most common cancer that comes from the brain itself. There are approximately ten thousand new cases of this tumor diagnosed every year in the United States. 

How do you know if you have it?  Are there symptoms? 

It can present a number of different ways, depending on the part of the brain where it develops. It can present with headaches, or cognitive issues/confusion, or weakness in an arm or leg, or visual difficulties, even seizures.

Is there anything we can do to prevent it?

Unfortunately, there are no known prevention strategies, or early detection strategies other than imaging (e.g. gadolinium enhanced brain MRI) with presenting symptoms.

How is glioblastoma typically treated? What is the prognosis?

GBM can be treated with surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and combinations of these techniques. Still, despite this, average life expectancy after diagnosis is typically under 2 years. Treatment is often centered on slowing progression and maintaining quality of life as much as possible.

Are these types of treatment options available at St. Luke’s?

Yes. We are able to deliver optimal, personalized care for this diagnosis, using all of the above modalities, including technologies (LITT/Visualase, 5-ALA/Gleolan, frameless stereotactic radiosurgery) offered nowhere else in the Lehigh Valley. We also offer clinical trial options to patients with this disease.

Learn more about St. Luke’s Brain & Spine Tumor Center.

Media Contact

Samuel Kennedy, Corporate Communications and Media Relations Director, Marketing & Public Relations, 484-526-4134,

About St. Luke’s

Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a non-profit, regional, fully integrated and nationally recognized network providing services at seven hospitals and more than 270 outpatient sites. The network’s service area includes Lehigh, Northampton, Carbon, Schuylkill, Bucks, Montgomery, Berks and Monroe counties in Pennsylvania and in Warren County in New Jersey. Dedicated to advancing health education, St. Luke’s operates the nation’s oldest School of Nursing and 22 graduate medical educational programs and is considered a major teaching hospital, the only one in the region. In partnership with Temple University, St. Luke’s created the region’s first Medical School. Repeatedly, including 2017, St. Luke’s has earned Truven’s 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation as well as 50 Top Cardiovascular program in addition to other honors for clinical excellence. St. Luke’s is a multi-year recipient of the Most Wired award recognizing the breadth of St. Luke’s information technology applications such as electronic medical records, telehealth, online scheduling and pricing information. St. Luke’s is also recognized as one of the state’s lowest cost providers in comparison to major teaching hospitals and other health systems.