Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

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Oligodendroglioma

Tumour Group:
Glioma
WHO Grade:
Can be classified as low-grade or high-grade. An oligodendroglioma is considered Grade II; an anaplastic oligodendroglioma is Grade III.
Prevalence/Incidence:
Oligodendrolglioma accounts for approximately 2.5% of all primary brain tumours and 5-6% of all gliomas. The incidence of oligodendroglioma has significantly increased over the past years.
Typical Age Range:
This tumour type is more common among men and women in their 20s to 40s, but can occur in children.

Tumour Characteristics

Oligodendrogliomas come from oligodendrocytes, one of the types of cells that make up the supportive, or glial, tissue of the brain.

  • May be associated with 1p or 19q chromosomal losses
  • More common in men than women
  • Occurs frequently in the frontal or temporal lobes

Symptoms

Common symptoms include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Behavioural and cognitive changes
  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Weakness or paralysis

Treatment/Standard of Care

Treatment options depend on the grade of the tumour. If the tumour is low-grade and symptoms are not severe, the doctor may decide not to perform surgery, then “watch and wait” and evaluate tumour growth through MRIs.

There is a malignant form of this tumour called anaplastic oligodendroglioma and a mixed malignant astrocytoma-oligodendroglioma. The common treatment for these high-grade tumours is surgery followed by radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy.

Both low- and high-grade oligodendrogliomas can recur. If a tumour recurs, the doctor will evaluate it for a second surgical procedure, radiation, and/or chemotherapy.

Gene expression studies are used to classify gliomas based on certain characteristics or genetic profiles. Oligodendrogliomas can be identified by deficiencies in certain chromosomes named 1p and 19q. Genetic profiling of oligodendrogliomas provides a more accurate predictor of prognosis and treatment options than does standard pathology.

Prognosis

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 Oligodendroglioma will be shown.