Tucson Morning Blend


This is the deadliest kind of brain cancer

Posted at 12:21 PM, Jul 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-21 15:21:53-04

Jeanneane Maxon, 41, was living the life of a “work hard, play hard” non-profit executive in Washington, D.C. However, her migraine headaches which she had suffered from since age six were becoming increasingly debilitating. Consequently, she made the difficult decision to quit the job she loved and move to Texas to be close to her family. A subsequent MRI revealed a lime-sized tumor in her brain which would ultimately be diagnosed as glioblastoma (GBM), a rare and aggressive form of cancer, but the most common type of primary brain cancer in adults.

As part of her GBM treatment, Jeanneane currently uses Optune, an FDA-approved portable device that delivers Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields). TTFields are electric fields that disrupt cancer cell division, potentially causing cancerous cells to die.


  • Approximately 13,000 new cases of GBM are diagnosed in the United States each year.
  • GBM is the most aggressive type of malignant primary brain tumor.
  • Approximately 30% of all primary brain tumors are malignant.
  • GBM accounts for approximately 48% of all primary malignant brain tumors.
  • GBM can be hard to treat. Because GBM can be hard to reach, surgery may not be able to remove the entire tumor. GBM also grows fast and can spread within the brain quickly.

MORE ABOUT DR. KAREN FINK: Karen Fink, MD, PhD founded Baylor Scott & White Health Neuro-Oncology Associates in order to offer clinical trials and innovative treatment to patients with brain tumors. She received her medical degree from the Mayo Medical School in Rochester, MN. In addition, she received a PhD in Biochemistry at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine. Dr. Fink completed her residency in neurology at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, and then pursued a two-year fellowship in neuro-oncology. Dr. Fink is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. She is a member of the Society of Neuro-Oncology, and participates in a national clinical trial network, the Brain Tumor Trials Collaborative. Prior to joining the medical staff at Baylor University Medical Center, Dr. Fink was the Director of Clinical Neuro-Oncology at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas for seven years.