Types of Brain Cancer
The World Health Organization (WHO) has nine categories of primary brain tumors, which are
based on the types of cells in which the tumors originate. Glial cells, which are responsible for
crucial structural support for the brain's nerve cells, are the core component of gliomas, which are
primary brain tumors.
Infiltrative astrocytoma and glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) account for nearly 85% of all brain tumors,
with the remainder spread among the other seven types.
Tumor Type Cell Origin
Oligodendocytes and astrocytes
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM)
Astrocytes and other brain cell types (astroblasts, spongioblasts)
Primitive neural cell
All gliomas, except GBM, range from well-differentiated tumors (low grade) to anaplastic,
that are completely chaotic, undifferentiated (high grade). High-grade tumors are more aggressive and are
associated with lower survival rates. In terms of surviving the disease, the grade of the tumor is the most
A primary brain tumor usually develops through a complex series of molecular and cellular mutations and
may take years to acquire enough mass to cause symptoms that bring the disease to a person's and/or a
The most prevalent type of brain tumor in children is an astrocytoma, which develops in the brainstem,
cerebellum, white matter of the brain, or spinal cord.
- brainstem glioma–originates in the medulla, pons, or midbrain
- choroid plexus papilloma–originates in the ventricles
- The membrane that lines the bentricles and central canal of the spine is where ependymoma begins.
- glioblastoma multiforme–most common types in adults; originates in glial cells in the berebrum
- medulloblastoma–second most common type in children; originates in the fourth cerebral ventricle and
the cerebellum; often invades the meninges