Some astrocytomas are deeply embedded in the brain and surrounded by vital structures or blood vessels. This makes many tumors impossible to remove completely without damaging other parts of the brain. Following surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy may be used to decrease the risk of recurrence.
Some astrocytomas may require the placement of a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt to correct hydrocephalus (increased fluid pressure inside the brain). A VP shunt is a tube that drains extra fluid from around the brain, into the abdominal cavity. The tube runs from the head to the abdomen, under the skin.
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- Ichimura K, Ohgaki H, Kleihues P, Collins VP. Molecular pathogenesis of astrocytic tumours. J Neurooncol. 2004 Nov;70(2):137-60. 
- See SJ, Gilbert MR. Anaplastic astrocytoma: diagnosis, prognosis, and management. Semin Oncol. 2004 Oct;31(5):618-34.