Article Abstract

Palliative care in adults with glioma

Authors: Berend Feddersen


Gliomas are belonging to the primary brain tumors and are the most common primary malignant brain tumors in adults (1). Although relatively rare, they cause significant mortality and morbidity. Glioblastoma, the most common glioma histology (∼45% of all gliomas), has a 5-year relative survival of ∼5% (1). Due to the nature of gliomas, the clinical spectrum of symptoms is broad. Disease trajectories may differ from other tumor entities outside the brain in cause of absence of systematic metastasis affecting other organ systems. Functional impairment is mainly elicited through the localisation, size and surrounding oedema. This may include neurological deficits like paresis, aphasia or symptoms like epilepsy or headache, leading to mood and behavioural disorders, as well as cognitive impairment. Increasing brain swelling is consecutively evolving to cerebral herniation with decrease of vigilance and is most frequently the cause of death.