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Anaplastic Astrocytoma

Tumour Group:
WHO Grade:
Grade III
Typical Age Range:
More common among men and women in their 30s to 50s, the mean is approximately 40 years of age. This tumour accounts for 2% of all brain tumours.

Tumour Characteristics

  • The cells of these tumours are moderately fast-growing and less well-defined than a lower grade astrocytoma (Grade I or II)
  • Typically diagnosed in adults
  • Can occur anywhere in the brain. They are sometimes found in the brainstem, making a histological diagnosis difficult
  • Tend to have tentacle-like projections that grow into surrounding tissue, making them difficult to completely remove during surgery
  • Tumour cells are not uniform in appearance.


Common symptoms include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Changes in behaviour
  • Headaches
  • Memory loss
  • Seizures

Treatment/Standard of Care

Treatment depends on the location of the tumour and how far it has progressed. Surgery and radiation therapy, with chemotherapy during or following radiation, are the standard treatments for anaplastic astrocytomas. If surgery is not an option, then the physician may recommend radiation and/or chemotherapy.


A prognosis is an estimate of the likely progress of a disease after a diagnosis, based on an average patient group. Since every person is different, please take time to talk with your health care team about how this information applies to you.

By clicking on 'expand', a statistic on the prognosis for Anaplastic Astrocytoma will be shown.