Annabel Giles dies after brain tumour diagnosis: What is a glioblastoma?

TV presenter and actress Annabel Giles has died after being diagnosed with a stage four glioblastoma.

There are many types of brain tumour and they can be classed as low or high grade.

Here, we answer questions about brain cancer.

– How many people are diagnosed with brain tumours each year?

According to Cancer Research UK (CRUK) there are around 12,300 new brain, other central nervous system (CNS) and intracranial tumour cases in the UK every year – or 34 every day on average.

– What are the survival and mortality rates?

Survival rates are difficult to predict because brain tumours are not the most common form of cancer and there are many different types.

But according to, around 15 out of every 100 people with a cancerous brain tumour will survive for 10 years or more after being diagnosed.

CRUK figures show that there are around 5,500 brain, other CNS and intracranial tumour deaths in the UK every year.

But brain cancer survival in England is highest for people diagnosed while aged under 40.

– What are the symptoms?

Common symptoms include headaches, seizures, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, mental or behavioural changes, such as memory problems or changes in personality, progressive weakness or paralysis on one side of the body and vision or speech problems, according to

– Are there different types?

There are many types of brain tumour – usually named after the cell they develop from or the part of the brain they start in.

There are 130 different types of brain tumour.

The most common in adults is called glioblastoma multiforme.

– What is a glioblastoma?

Glioblastomas are a type of glioma – a brain tumour that develops from a group of brain cells called glial cells.

Glioblastomas are grade four brain tumours and sometimes called glioblastoma multiforme, GBM, GBM4 or a grade four astrocytoma.

According to the Brain Tumour Charity they are fast-growing, have thread-like tendrils that extend into other parts of the brain, are likely to spread within the brain and may come back.

They make up about 78% of malignant brain tumours in adults in the UK and around 3,000 people a year are diagnosed with a glioblastoma.

– What about the grades?

Brain tumours are graded from one to four, according to their behaviour, such as the speed at which they grow and how likely they are to spread.

Grades one and two are classed as “low grade” and grades three and four are “high grade”.

High-grade brain tumours are fast-growing and more likely to spread to other parts of the brain. They may come back even if intensively treated.

– What are the treatment options?

Treatments range on a variety of factors including the type of tumour, where it is in the brain, how big it is and how far it has spread, how abnormal the cells are and a patient’s overall health and fitness.

Options can include surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, medicines to help with symptoms and steroids.

– How much funding is going towards research?

In May 2018, the Government said £40 million would be committed towards brain cancer research.

But in April, British charity Brain Tumour Research launched a petition calling on the Government to ring-fence £110 million of current and new funding to increase the national investment in the area to £35 million a year by 2028.