The prognosis for high-grade glioma in adults, especially if they are older, is poor, according to WebMD. Grade 4 tumors grow aggressively, and few patients live more than three years with conventional treatment. The average life expectancy with a high-grade glioma is about a year.
Most high-grade gliomas require surgery, if possible, WebMD explains. Surgeons determine if the patient's mobility and speech may be affected before removing the glioma. Depending on the tumor's subtype, doctors may order chemotherapy and radiation to reduce the size before attempting to surgically remove it.
Sometimes radiation and chemotherapy are performed after surgery. Chemotherapy for gliomas may be taken orally or injected, WebMD reports. The medication attempts to stop cancer cell growth.
Some gliomas are inoperable, WebMD states. Patients with these tumors usually undergo radiation and chemotherapy. Doctors also encourage patients with high-grade gliomas to participate in clinical trials to determine if additional cancer treatments benefit.
Doctors consider a patient's age and health when choosing appropriate treatment for gliomas, WebMD reports. The treatment goal for patients with high-grade gliomas is to help extend life.
Patients usually receive medications to help relieve the tumor's effects, WebMD says. They include anticonvulsants to prevent or control seizures and corticosteroids to alleviate brain swelling caused by the tumor.