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What are Oligodendroglial (ah-lee-go-den-drah-glee-al) Tumors?

A type of glioma, oligodendroglial tumors begin in the fatty covering of the nerve cells. Known as oligodendrocytes, these cells protect and support the nerve cells in your brain. Oligodendroglial tumors are most often found in the frontal and temporal lobes of the cerebrum. This type of tumor is far more common in adults than children. It is also more prevalent in men than women. To learn more about oligodendroglial tumors, or to schedule an appointment, please call (407) 303-1700 or click here to fill out an online assistance form.

Specialists at the Florida Hospital Brain and Spinal Cancer Program are highly experienced in treating oligodendroglial tumors, which are categorized as follows:

  • Oligodendroglioma (ah-lee-go-den-drah-glee-oh-mah): Growing and spreading slowly, this type of tumor usually forms in the cerebrum of adults. It represents about 10-15% of all gliomas.
  • Anaplastic oligodendroglioma: Originating in the cerebrum, this tumor grows very quickly and it can grow in more than one place in the brain at the same time. It is a more aggressive breed of oligodendrogliomas.

The course of treatment for an oligodendrolioma depends on a number of factors, such as your general health, the size and position of the tumor and whether it has spread to surrounding areas. Our experienced medical team will be happy to discuss treatment options with you, which may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or participation in clinical trials.

Causes of Oligodendroglial Tumors

Currently, the cause of an oligodendroglial tumors is unknown, but scientists are working to find more evidence as to why these tumors are created.

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Symptoms of Oligodendroglial Tumors

The signs and symptoms of oligodendroglial tumors typically include an increase in pressure in the brain, resulting from a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid, focal neurological deficits and headache. Oligodendroglial tumors can also result in stroke-like transient ischemic attacks or intracerebral hemorrhage in some patients. Depending on quickly the tumor develops, patients may have mild symptoms for years before anything is discovered. In many cases, seizures can be the first symptom. Others may include include headache and behavioral/personality changes. To learn more about oligodendroglial tumors, or to schedule an appointment, please call (407) 303-1700 or click here to fill out an online assistance form.

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Tests to Diagnose Oligodendroglial Tumors

Our physicians at Florida Hospital Cancer Institute will need to find out as much as they can about the tumor in order to offer a correct diagnosis and treatment plan. This includes knowing the type, position and size. A variety of tests may be recommended, starting with your reflexes and the power and feeling in your arms and legs. Your physician may also check to see if your optic nerve is swollen, which can indicate a rise in pressure in the brain. Blood tests may also be taken in order to assess your general health and to see how well your kidneys are functioning.

The following tests may be ordered to diagnose an oligodendroglial tumor:

CT (computerized tomography) scan
A CT scan takes a series of x-rays that allows the physician to see a three-dimensional picture of the inside of your body. The CT scan is painless and lasts for only a few minutes. Using a small amount of radiation, the scan will be harmless to you and to those around you. An injection of dye is given in order to let the physician see certain areas more clearly. The injection may make you feel warm or hot all over for a few seconds. Be sure to tell your doctor if you have an allergy to iodine or if you have asthma, as this could lead to a more serious reaction.

MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) scan
An MRI is similar to a CT scan but uses magnetism instead of x-rays to build up a detailed picture of the areas in your body. Before the scan you may be asked to remove any metal belongings, as well as jewelry. An injection of dye may be given into a vein in your arm, helping the images to show up more clearly. During the scan you will lie on a table inside a long cylinder for approximately 30 minutes. The scan is painless but may be slightly uncomfortable. The MRI technician will help make you as comfortable as possible and will give you earplugs or headphones to reduce the noise from the machine.

Biopsy
Your physician will remove a small amount of tissue from the tumor in order to give a correct diagnosis. In most cases this involves an operation. One of our skilled neurosurgeons will make a very small hole in the skull and pass a fine needle into the tumor in order to remove a small sample. A CT scan will be performed at the same time in order to help guide the surgeon. Your physician will tell you whether or not a biopsy is necessary in your case and what the operation will involve. 

To learn more about oligodendroglial tumors, or to schedule an appointment, please call (407) 303-1700 or click here to fill out an online assistance form.

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Treatments for Oligodendroglial Tumors

Treatment for an oligodendroglial tumor will vary depending on the specific case. As always, if you need more time to consider your options, you can always take more time. All patients are free to choose not to have treatment and our staff will explain what may happen if you decide to not have it. The following treatment options may be recommended for an oligodendroglial tumor.

Surgery
Radiotherapy
Chemotherapy
Steroids

To learn more about oligodendroglial tumors, or to schedule an appointment, please call (407) 303-1700 or click here to fill out an online assistance form.

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