Oligodendroglial Tumours
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Astrocytic Tumours
Oligodendroglial Tumours
Mixed Gliomas

Oligodendrogliomas are a group of adult-age tumours arising from Oligodendrocytes, a component of the supportive brain tissue.  They may either appear directly at any level of malignancy, or may progress in malignancy.  They carry a relatively better prognosis than mixed aligoastrocytomas, which in turn carry a better prognosis than astrocytomas.  When occurring in concurrence with a genetic condition involving the deletion of the 1p allele or the deletion of the 1p and 19q chromosome arms, higher sensitivity to chemotherapy has been noted.  Time to tumour progression can range from about one to four years following treatment.  According to the WHO classification, they may be divided into:

1. Oligodendroglioma (WHO grade II) 

2. Anaplastic (malignant) oligodendroglioma (WHO grade III) 

Oligodendroglioma (WHO Grade II)

Slowly growing, diffusely infiltrating tumours showing a predilection for the frontal lobes, often with areas of calcification, and often characterised by a long history of seizures. 

Treatment:  surgical removal to the maximum extent without causing neurological deficit is the treatment of choice whenever possible.  Chemotherapy is administered either alone as a treatment regimen, or following surgery.  Radiation is indicated in cases of recurrence or in cases malignant transformation.

Prognosis:  being relatively sensitive to chemotherapy, this gives them a more favourable prognosis.  Median survival rate may be up to 10 years.

Anaplastic (malignant) Oligodendroglioma (WHO Grade III)

Relatively slowly growing, diffusely infiltrating tumours showing a predilection for the frontal lobes, often with areas of calcification, and often characterised by a long history of seizures.  They have been known to metastasise outside the central nervous system.

Treatment:  as in the case of WHO grade II oligodendrogliomas, surgical removal to the maximum extent without causing neurological deficit is the treatment of choice whenever possible.  Chemotherapy is administered either alone as a treatment regimen, or following surgery.  Radiation may or may not be indicated.

Prognosis: despite a relatively higher sensitivity to chemotherapy, median survival rates range up to about 4 years.

last changed 26/05/2011.

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