Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Oligodendroglioma Treatment

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:

Oligodendroglioma Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy for oligodendroglioma can be used when surgery and radiation therapy have not been successful.

Drugs that are used in the treatment of oligodendroglioma include:

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:

Oligodendroglioma Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat oligodendrogliomas:

Oligodendroglioma Surgery

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.

Continue to Oligodendroglioma Home Care

Last Updated: Dec 21, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Oligodendroglioma References
  1. Alvarez JA, Cohen ML, Hlavin ML. Primary intrinsic brainstem oligodendroglioma in an adult. Case report and review of the literature. J Neurosurg. 1996 Dec;85(6):1165-9. [8929513]
  2. Ellis TL, Stieber VW, Austin RC. Oligodendroglioma. Curr Treat Options Oncol. 2003 Dec;4(6):479-90. [14585228]
  3. van den Bent MJ. Diagnosis and management of oligodendroglioma. Semin Oncol. 2004 Oct;31(5):645-52. [15497117]
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