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Oligodendroglioma Defined

Originally published on January 22, 2013
Most recently updated on April 10, 2013

Oligodendrogliomas occur in the oligodenrocytes, a type of supportive brain tissue.  They are most commonly found in the cerebral lobes of the brain.  They tend to occur in young and middle aged adults with a small population of children being diagnosed each year.  Pure oligodendrogliomas are rare but mixed gliomas; tumors made up of both oligodendrogliomas and astrocystes are more common.


  • Oligodendroglioma (non-malignant): this tumor looks only slightly abnormal whn viewed under a microscope.  It tends to be a slow-growing tumor.
  • Anaplastic oligodendroglioma: a malignant form of this tumor that has very abnormal looking cells and is faster growing.

Seizures are the most common initial symptom.

Treatment usually involves the surgical removal of accessible tumors.  Biopsy alone will be done to confirm tumor type for inaccessible tumors.  Radiation therapy may follow as well as chemotherapy for recurrent tumors.

Researchers are testing various combinations of chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapies.

Scientists continue to study chromosomal abnormalities, genes, and proteins that may have a role in the development and metastasis (spread to other parts of the central nervous system) of pediatric brain tumors.



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