Although uncommon, anaplastic oligodendrogliomas (AODs) are important to recog nize, as they have unique molecular, histologic, and clinical features. Patients with new seizures or new focal neurologic deficits should be referred for brain MRI with contrast. If the MRI suggests a malignant glioma, maximal feasible tumor resection is advised for accurate diagnosis and for relief of tumor-related neurologic symptoms. Radiation therapy (XRT) is the most commonly prescribed postsurgical therapy for patients with AODs. The role and timing of adjuvant chemotherapy are less clear. Tumor responses to PCV (the combination of procarbazine, lomustine, and vincristine) and to temozolomide have been documented in patients with AODs. However, two prospective phase 3 trials in patients with newly diagnosed AOD have shown no difference in overall survival when PCV is added to XRT. Ongoing trials investigating the benefit of temozolomide plus XRT in patients with newly diagnosed AOD will inform about the value of this common practice. The recognition that 1p19q codeletion is a marker of oligodendroglial differentiation and the subsequent prospective confirmation of this marker's importance in predicting better prognosis have been critical discoveries. Tumors with intermediate oligodendroglial features or mixed astrocytic features should be referred for 1p19q assessment. Identification of 1p19q status is also required in clinical trials for patients with AOD, given the association of 1p19q codeletion with improved response to therapies and overall prognosis. There are not yet sufficient data to guide individual treatment planning based on 1p19q status, but several planned and ongoing trials will address this issue. Unfortunately, AOD remains a terminal brain cancer even with maximal therapies. As more therapeutic options become available and the full significance of molecular markers is understood, 1p19q and other markers are expected to help guide optimal antitumor therapies, and it is hoped that survival and function will improve for all patients with AOD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology