Treatment for an oligodendroglioma depends on the location and stage of the cancer. Treatment usually includes some combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
Treatment options for an oligodendroglioma include:
- Seizure medication
- Medications to control brain swelling:
- Oral corticosteroids
- Narcotic pain medication:
- Surgery for oligodendroglioma:
- Removing as much of the tumor as possible
- Radiation therapy for oligodendroglioma
- Exposing cancer cells to radiation can kill them.
- Chemotherapy for oligodendroglioma
- The administration of medicines that kill cancer cells.
Oligodendroglioma Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy for oligodendroglioma uses a highly-focused dose of radiation directed at a small area of the brain tumor. It requires specialized scanning equipment, and 3-dimensional imaging. Another name for this method is a gamma knife.
Gamma knife devices allow doctors to deliver a precise dose of radiation to the tumor, with a minimal effect on surrounding brain tissue.
Complications of radiation therapy may include:
Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat oligodendrogliomas:
Whenever possible, treatment of oligodendroglioma should include surgery to remove the entire cancer. Following surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy may be used to decrease the risk of recurrence.
Some tumors are deeply embedded in the brain and surrounded by vital structures or blood vessels. This makes many tumors impossible to remove without damaging other parts of the brain.
Some oligodendrogliomas 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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- Ellis TL, Stieber VW, Austin RC. Oligodendroglioma. Curr Treat Options Oncol. 2003 Dec;4(6):479-90. 
- van den Bent MJ. Diagnosis and management of oligodendroglioma. Semin Oncol. 2004 Oct;31(5):645-52.