Oligodendrogliomas are a rare type of primary brain tumor. They arise from oligodendrocytes, which are cells that compose the brain’s supportive tissue. Although any area of the brain or central nervous system can be affected, the most common sites for oligodendrogliomas include the frontal and temporal lobes. At IGEA Brain, Spine & Orthopedics, our physicians identify and treat oligodendrogliomas in New Jersey and New York, helping patients from across the tri-state area achieve the best possible outcome.
Oligodendrogliomas are among the rarest forms of brain tumors. Only 10 to 15% of all gliomas are oligodendrogliomas, accounting for just 4% of all primary brain tumors in all. Their causes are still unknown, but most scientific theories point to chromosomal abnormalities, although these have not been proven. We do know, however, that these tumors are most common in adults aged 50 to 60 and appear more frequently in men.
Signs and Symptoms
Like most slow-growing tumors, oligodendrogliomas may exist for years before exhibiting any signs. When symptoms appear, they often surface gradually and will vary depending on their point of origin. These include the following:
Frontal Lobe Tumors
- Recurring headaches
- Partial or full paralysis
- Recurring seizures
- Behavior or personality changes
- Memory loss
- Vision anomalies
Parietal Lobe Tumors
- Difficulties with coordination or balance
- Difficulties with reading, writing, and mathematics
- Changes to the sense of touch or ability to recognize objects by touch
- Difficulty recognizing and interpreting sensations
Temporal Lobe Tumors
- Loss of hearing
- Inability to understand music or spoken language
- Memory loss
- Recurring seizures
How Oligodendrogliomas Are Graded
Oligodendrogliomas are graded based on how quickly and aggressively their cells reproduce. They are classified as Grade I, II, or III as follows:
- Grade I: This is the slowest-growing grade of oligodendrogliomas. Grade I tumors are unlikely to spread, have clear boundaries, and can often be removed through surgery.
- Grade II: Also called mid-grade tumors, these are also slow-growing and unlikely to spread. They may recur after treatment, however, thus requiring higher levels of monitoring.
- Grade III: Also called anaplastic, Grade III is the most aggressive grade for oligodendrogliomas. They have rapidly multiplying cells and may spread beyond their point of origin.
Treatments for Oligodendrogliomas
There are many options available to treat oligodendrogliomas, typically chosen based on the tumor’s grade and location. Easy-to-access Grade I and Grade II tumors may be removed through surgery. After removing the tumor, our doctors will closely monitor the area through MRI scans. Any residual pieces of the tumor can be treated using radiation, chemotherapy, or follow-up surgery. Meanwhile, Grade III tumors are treated through a combination of radiation and chemotherapy, and recurrent anaplastic tumors may be addressed with surgery or chemotherapy.
Seek Expert Treatment for Brain Tumors
IGEA Brain, Spine & Orthopedics is home to an expert team of board-certified neurosurgeons standing by to help you or your loved one fight their oligodendrogliomas. For more information about our cutting-edge treatment options for patients in the tri-state area, contact us today in New Jersey or New York.