Types of Brain Tumors

The World Health Organization recognizes many different types of brain tumors, which are classified by cell origin and how the cells behave, from the least aggressive (benign) to the most aggressive (malignant).

Some tumor types are assigned a grade, ranging from grade 1 (least malignant) to grade 4 (most malignant), which signifies the rate of growth.

The most common brain tumors are gliomas, which begin in the glial (supportive) tissue. There are several types of gliomas, the most aggressive of which are known as high grade gliomas (HGGs).

Glioblastoma (GBM) is a highly aggressive (grade 4) type of brain tumor, with cells that reproduce quickly—nourished by a large network of blood vessels. GBM is the most common type of HGG, with an annual incidence of approximately 13,000 in 2019 in the United States. It accounts for about half of all primary brain and central nervous system cancers.

Unfortunately, GBM is also the most lethal among all cancers, with five-year survival rates of about five percent. Tocagen is developing a product candidate for the treatment of recurrent HGG, which is under evaluation in an ongoing Phase 3 clinical trial. The Toca 5 trial is fully enrolled and not recruiting patients.

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