Oligodendroglioma Brain Tumors

An oligodendroglioma tumor is a slow-growing brain tumor that usually occurs in young adults. These tumors are frequently located within the frontal, temporal or parietal lobes and cause seizures in a relatively high percentage of patients. Many oligodendrogliomas contain little specks of calcium (bone) and can easily bleed.

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Diagnosis

To diagnose an oligodendroglioma brain tumor, a neurologist (a doctor with special additional training in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the brain, spinal cord and nerves) performs a complete examination, which may include a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan or a computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan. An MRI usually finds low-grade tumors earlier than CT.

Depending on the patient's symptoms, specialized testing may be necessary, including tests of the field of vision, the sharpness of vision and hearing. If the results of other tests aren't conclusive, an examination of the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord may be done. Cerebral angiography is rarely used to diagnose a brain tumor, but may be done before surgery. Chest X-rays may also be needed to determine if the tumor has spread from another part of the body.

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Treatments

These tumors require surgery to make an accurate diagnosis, control seizures or to remove a blood clot inside the tumor. Surgery can be more beneficial for this type of tumor than other gliomas, as there is less likelihood of the tumor spreading into normal brain tissues.

There are several clinical trials in the USA and Europe that are studying newer chemotherapy treatments for this brain tumor type.