Oligodendrogliomas are low-grade gliomas, a type of brain tumor, that arise from a type of cell called an oligodendrocyte. Oligodendrocytes are a type of glial cell that makes up the supportive network for nerves of the brain and spinal cord.
Children and adolescents with oligodendroglioma are treated through our Glioma Program, one of the largest and most experienced pediatric glioma programs in the world, and part of the
Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Brain Tumor Center.
Our glioma specialists – a team of neuro-oncologists,
surgeons, pathologists and radiation oncologists – focus solely on the care of
children diagnosed with gliomas. The Glioma Program also offers families the
chance to have their child's tumor molecularly profiled (as
long as a biopsy can be taken), which may help identify opportunities for
The vast majority of children with oligodendrogliomas develop them spontaneously, and there is no identifiable cause. However, if your child has certain genetic syndromes, including neurofibromatosis type I and tuberous sclerosis, he may be at a higher risk of developing certain kinds of tumors, including oligodendrogliomas.
Due to the relatively slow growth rate of oligodendrogliomas, your child may have been having symptoms for many months by the time he sees the doctor, although symptoms can come on rapidly, too. While each child may experience symptoms differently, the most common ones are caused by increased pressure in the brain and include:
Your child might also experience seizures and hemiparesis (weakness on one side of his body).
The symptoms of an oligodendroglioma may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.
Diagnostic procedures for an oligodendroglioma may include:
Your child’s physician will determine a specific course of treatment based on several factors. Some therapies will treat the tumor while others are intended to address complications of the disease or side effects of treatment. These treatments include:
Surgery and radiation therapy may be used alone or in combination.
There can be side effects related to the tumor itself or its treatment. Knowing what these side effects are can help you, your child, and your care team prepare for and, in some cases, prevent these symptoms from occurring.
The recommended treatment for progressive or recurrent oligodendroglioma is a second surgical procedure to remove the remaining tumor, followed by radiation therapy, chemotherapy or biologic therapy.
Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s offers a large range of new and innovative treatments for children with progressive or recurrent brain tumors not responsive to standard therapy. Search our clinical trials for relapsed and refractory cancer.
U.S. News & World Report ranked Dana-Farber/Boston Children's the #1 pediatric cancer hospital in the nation.