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Glioblastoma surgery is performed with the goal of achieving a “maximal safe resection,” or removing as much of the tumor as possible without causing lasting neurological damage. This approach requires a significant amount of neurosurgical expertise, as glioblastomas often grow extensively throughout multiple regions of the brain. Because successful surgery can greatly improve a patient’s prognosis and quality of life, it’s crucial for patients to turn to a neurosurgeon who has substantial expertise removing these complex tumors.

At Moffitt Cancer Center, patients can access comprehensive neurosurgical treatment from oncologists who specialize in treating cancers of the brain and spine. Our Neuro-Oncology Program offers many of the latest surgical technologies, including imaging scans (functional MRI and MRI tractography) to help identify areas of the brain that are responsible for neurological function and should therefore be avoided during surgery. Additionally, Moffitt has neurosurgeons who perform a high volume of glioblastoma surgeries, giving them extensive experience with even the most challenging procedures. Glioblastoma surgery options offered at Moffitt include:

  • 5-ALA guided tumor resection – During this type of glioblastoma surgery, a drug that causes the tumor to glow red (5-ALA, also called the "pink drink") is given to the patient before surgery, and a surgical microscope or exoscope that is equipped with filters to induce the glow are used to help guide the tumor resection. This approach has been shown to help maximize the extent of tumor removed.
  • Awake craniotomy – During this operation, a patient interacts with the surgeon while the tumor is removed to reduce the risk of permanent loss of function when glioblastomas are in or near areas of the brain that have important functions.
  • Direct delivery of treatments to glioblastoma tumors – Moffitt neurosurgeons have helped to pioneer investigational treatments that are delivered directly to tumor tissue, or brain that is infiltrated with tumor cells.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Michael Vogelbaum, Program Leader, Department of Neuro-Oncology.

Referrals are not required to inquire about glioblastoma surgery at Moffitt. To schedule an appointment with our Neuro-Oncology Program, call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online.