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The glioma experts at Houston Methodist are proven leaders in precise, personalized brain tumor diagnosis, treatment, and research. We provide patients innovative, personalized care plans with treatment options not available elsewhere in Texas.

The Glial Tumor Treatment Program at Houston Methodist offers highly effective treatments for patients with common to complex tumor cases.


Glioma patients come to us from all over Texas and the U.S., seeking access to our advanced technology and customized treatment plans. Our research-backed expertise encompasses the entirety of the patient’s journey, from diagnosis to support, dramatically improving lives and ensuring the best outcomes.


Houston Methodist is also dedicated to furthering knowledge toward a cure for gliomas. Our passionate team of experts at the Kenneth R. Peak Center for Brain and Pituitary Tumor Treatment and Research is pioneering the future through ongoing research projects and exclusive clinical trial and treatment options.

Pioneering Glioma Treatment in Houston and the U.S.

Gliomas — tumors that start in the brain or spine — make up 33% of all brain tumors. If you or a loved one is seeking a diagnosis or treatment, our world-class team will provide hope and proven solutions during your journey.


  • Targeted diagnosis – We analyze the genes in each tumor to determine the precise tumor make-up and behavior. We then test against every known U.S. chemotherapeutic agent. Our diagnostic innovation leads to the best possible outcomes. 
  • Personalized, comprehensive treatment – We offer intensive and aggressive treatment plans — including surgery and DNA and gene analyses — delivered by a diversely skilled team of compassionate experts.
  • Clinical trials and researchHouston Methodist is a leader in innovative research, pioneering treatments with fewer side effects and one-of-a-kind gene therapy, leading to healthier and longer lives for our patients.

Supporting You Throughout Your Journey

How are gliomas diagnosed?

Though the following symptoms do not necessarily indicate the presence of a tumor, they can be signs of glioma. Symptoms of glioma — which can appear slowly and may be subtle at first — include confusion or a decline in brain function, difficulty with balance, speech and vision problems, muscle weakness or numbness, headache, memory loss, personality changes or irritability and more.


Some gliomas do not cause symptoms at all. You may have been diagnosed when seeing your doctor for another health issue entirely.


Our diagnostic process begins with a thorough neurological exam to assess your vision, balance, hearing and coordination. We also use MRI, CT scan and PET to visualize the size and location of the glioma in your brain.


Though gliomas can be benign, 80% are malignant and require more aggressive and complex treatment. Our team will determine the size, stage, location and type of your tumor. Common glioma types include:


  • Astrocytomas – Most common type of glioma, accounting for nearly half of all primary brain tumors. They develop from astrocytes — star-shaped cells that support nerve cells. These tumors appear in the top and outer curve of the brain, and occasionally in the spinal column.
  • Oligodendrogliomas – Rare and make up just 4% of all brain tumors. These slow-growing tumors form in the brain or spinal cord.
  • Ependymomas – Exceedingly rare, comprising just 2% of all adult brain cancers. These tumors typically don’t spread into normal brain tissue. Because of this, some ependymomas can be cured through surgery.


Once your team determines your tumor specifics and full health and genetic profile, we determine the best treatment plan for you.

What glioma treatment options are available?

Your treatment plan takes into account your tumor’s location and grade — "low grade" (grades I or II) or "high grade" (grades III or IV) — based on the growth rate of the tumor tissue. We also factor in your DNA and genomic profile and your overall health.


Our caring and committed specialists rigorously advance medical science with new research and technology. While your plan will be tailored to you, some common treatment tactics for glioma may include:   



After treatment, your doctor and team might prescribe you speech or physical therapy to relearn skills impacted by the tumor. Our treatment is ongoing and our team remains on your side long after your primary treatment, ensuring your best full recovery.

I need advanced care or a second opinion.

Our specialists at the Glial Tumor Treatment Program at the Kenneth R. Peak Brain & Pituitary Tumor Treatment Center believe second opinions increase survival rates. Seeking the expertise of nationally recognized brain tumor experts can confirm your glioma diagnosis and expand the range of potential solutions, including treatment methods and trials not offered elsewhere.


During a second opinion, our neurosurgeons will assess your medical diagnosis and review images you’ve already had taken. You will gain the most value from a meeting with our team if you provide us with as much of your medical history and prior tests as possible.

Find Clinical Trials

doctor using large microscope

Houston Methodist is leading the way in research to find innovative treatment options.
Find a brain tumor clinical trial >

Patient Success

Matt Futer was given less than 3 months to live when he was initially diagnosed with glioblastoma. He’s now 10 years cancer-free.
More patient successes >

Tricking Glioma into Taking a Cancer-Blasting Drug

Peak Center for Brain and Pituitary Tumors director and neurosurgeon David Baskin, MD, discusses how to trick a glioma to take a medicine, also known as a mitochondrial “smart bomb.”

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