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What Is The Difference Between Glioblastoma & Neuroblastoma?

Glioblastoma is common cancer that develops in the brain of adults. It accounts for 15 % of cases of cancers that grow in the brain. It is cancer that grows in the central nervous system. It is a highly aggressive cancer that spreads at a fast speed. It is highly resistant to therapy and has a poor prognosis. Neuroblastoma is a cancer of the sympathetic chain that develops outside the brain. It is the third common cancer of children that usually affects them under the age of 5 years. It responds to the treatment and has a better prognosis if diagnosed and treated early.

What Is The Difference Between Glioblastoma & Neuroblastoma?

Glioblastoma is the most common cancer of adults that develop inside the brain. It accounts for 15 % of all the cases of neoplasms or cancers developing inside the brain. It is a high-grade cancer that develops in astrocytomas. It develops in the central nervous system. (1)

Glioblastoma is of two types, primary and secondary. 90 % of cases of glioblastoma are primary that arise without pre-existing cancer. It affects older people. It is aggressive than secondary glioblastoma. The secondary type of glioblastoma accounts for 10 % of all glioblastoma. It develops from other cancer cells. It affects younger patients at the age of 45 years or below. (1)

Glioblastoma can develop anywhere in the brain. It arises more in the white matter and grey matter of the cerebral hemisphere. (1) It usually develops in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. It can also develop in the brainstem, cerebellum, and other parts of the brain. It can also develop in the spinal cord. The mean survival rate of people with this cancer is 15 to 16 months. Only a few may survive up to five years or more. (3)

Glioblastoma grows quickly forming finger-like projections in the normal brain. Its symptoms involve headaches, nausea, sleepiness, memory loss, and seizures. It is very hard to remove with the help of surgery. Radiation therapy is used afterward to remove the rest of the cancer cells. (3)

Neuroblastoma is cancer that originates from the neuroblast cells. These cells are the cells found in infants and young children that mature into nerve cells. It develops in the sympathetic nervous system. It grows outside the brain. It is the most common solid childhood cancer that grows outside the brain. It is the third commonest cancer of children after brain cancers and leukemia (blood cancers). It accounts for 15 % of deaths in children due to cancer. (2)

Most of its cases are detected in children under the age of 5 years. It is rarely seen after the age of 10 years. Only a few cases are identified in antenatal checkups and immediately after birth. It is represented by symptoms such as distension in the abdomen that can be palpated, loss of appetite, constipation, and other symptoms according to its location. It starts from the adrenal glands that are present above the kidneys. It slowly spreads to the other parts of the body except for the brain. It can grow in the neck, chest, abdomen, and legs. (2)

Neuroblastoma can be diagnosed by plain chest X-ray, ultrasound, MRI or CT scan. Its treatment depends on the stage of the patient. It has a better prognosis in low-risk tumors than high-risk tumors. Low-risk tumors often go away by themselves or when excised surgically. High-risk tumors have a poor prognosis even if treated with a combination of chemotherapy, surgery, and bone marrow transplantation. (2)


Neuroblastoma grows outside the brain whereas glioblastoma grows inside the brain. Neuroblastoma develops in neuroblast cells whereas glioblastoma grows in astrocytomas. Neuroblastoma affects infants and young children that have a good prognosis. Glioblastoma affects old adults and it is aggressive cancer that has a bad prognosis.


  1. https://radiopaedia.org/articles/glioblastoma#nav_clinical-presentation
  2. https://radiopaedia.org/articles/neuroblastoma?lang=us
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/brain-tumor/glioblastoma#types

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 30, 2019

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