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February 2, 2005

Malignant Gliomas in 2005Where to GO From Here?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Neurology, Pediatrics, Neurosurgery, and Human Biology, The Beirne Family Director of Neuro-Oncology at Packard Hospital, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif (Dr Fisher); Department of Epidemiology, Kenneth and Marjorie Kaiser Endowed Chair in Cancer Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley (Dr Buffler).

JAMA. 2005;293(5):615-617. doi:10.1001/jama.293.5.615

Brain tumor is one of the diagnoses most feared by patients, physicians, and even oncologists. Their fear is justified. More than half of the 18 400 primary malignant brain tumors diagnosed each year in the United States are malignant gliomas1 that not only confer high risk for death and severe disability, but also steal what is held so highly as the essence of human life: the mind and spirit. In this issue of JAMA, Chang et al2 use data from the Glioma Outcomes (GO) Project to provide a “report card” on the patterns of care in patients with newly diagnosed malignant gliomas; unfortunately, the grades are sobering. Consequently, this is an appropriate time to reflect on the past and current status of glioma treatment and suggest where to go from here.

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