This study reports the preliminary results obtained in a series of 107 patients with histologically proven malignant gliomas (86 glioblastomas and 21 anaplastic astrocytomas) operated upon between 1986 and 1989, with an aggressive attitude aimed to achieve extensive and possible "radical" excision of the tumor. Gross total removal was achieved in 62% of cases, while in the remaining the postoperative contrast enhanced CT scan showed more than 10-15% of residual tumor mass. There was no operative and postoperative mortality. The one-year survival rate was 60% in patients with total removal and 24% in those with partial resection. Furthermore the Karnofsky rating at discharge was improved in the former group while was unchanged in the latter. Although preliminary, these data seem to confirm the primary positive role of radical surgery in the combined management of malignant gliomas.