This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Oligodendrogliomas are brain tumors arising from oligodendrocytes, a type of cell that makes up the supportive (glial) tissue of the brain. They can be low-grade (grade II) or high-grade (grade III, also called anaplastic). While they can be found anywhere within the cerebral hemisphere, they are most common in the frontal and temporal lobes. They are generally soft, grayish-pink tumors that often contain mineral deposits (calcifications), areas of hemorrhage, and/or cysts. They tend to grow slowly and may be present for many years before they are diagnosed. Common symptoms include seizures, headaches and changes in personality. Other symptoms vary by the size and location of the tumor. The exact cause of opigodendrogliomas is unknown. Some appear to have a chromosome abnormality involving loss of chromosomes 1p and 19q. Treatment generally involves surgical removal of the tumor followed by radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy. Recurrent tumors may need additional surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
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