37-year-old man dies of aggressive brain tumor after year-long battle

The news comes a year after Matthew Sandbrook was given just three months to live with glioblastoma. Fast-growing cancer affects both the brain and spinal cord, causing a significant change in sensations throughout the body. In previous reports, the 37-year-old described how his symptoms intensified over the course of two years, before leaving him unable to walk.

After being told by doctors that he would not live to see Christmas, Matthew’s family launched an online appeal in a bid to throw him one final festive party, which was attended by over 200 well-wishers.

He previously told how he suffered two years of headaches before doctors discovered a tumor the size of a tennis ball in his brain.

Laboratory tests revealed that he had glioblastoma, an aggressive form of cancer that produces nonspecific symptoms.

Of the 130 different types of brain and central nervous system tumors, glioblastoma is among the deadliest.

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It is made of glial cells, which clump together to form the supporting tissue of the brain and spinal cord.

When these cells become malignant, normal brain function can be compromised and nerves can be damaged in the process.

As it progresses, the tumor can begin to press on various internal structures in the body, triggering a range of symptoms.

The most common signs of the disease are:

  • persistent headaches
  • Nausea
  • vomit
  • Blurry vision
  • Changes in cognitive abilities.


Research shows that it takes an average of 330 days for glioblastoma to grow before a formal diagnosis is made, meaning the signs can be insidious.

Speaking after his diagnosis, Matthew said he initially attributed his nagging headaches to his work schedule.

He added: “Over the summer I noticed small changes in myself, I became a bit withdrawn and didn’t like making eye contact with people.

“Then one night I was trying to do something at work that I’d done a hundred times before and my mind went blank.

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“I started sweating and had to ask a colleague to drive me home. The next morning I couldn’t even walk and had to crawl upstairs.”

Becky, Matthew’s wife, called an ambulance to take him to the emergency room, where he began to suffer seizures.

That’s when doctors told Matthew it was “bad news” and he had three months to live.

The disease can occur at any age, but it is more prevalent in older adults, with children receiving diagnoses only in rare cases.

Dr Solmaz, Sahebjam, a neuro-oncologist at Moffit Cancer Centre, said: “Glioblastoma is the most aggressive type of brain cancer and is considered advanced at the time of diagnosis.

“It is currently not curable, which means there is no way to eradicate all cancer cells.”

Due to its fast-growing nature, people tend to succumb to the disease between 14 and 16 months after diagnosis.

Researchers remain confident, however, that the development of aggressive treatments can improve the condition’s extremely poor prognosis.

37-year-old man dies of aggressive brain tumor after year-long battle

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