Brain Tumors

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Brain Tumors

(Meningioma and Oligodendroglioma)

I.  Pathology
A. Meningioma
II.  Etiology
 A.  No known cause
B.Uncontrolled division of meningial cells
III.  Specifics
A.Affected cell - meninges (cover and protection of brain and spinal cord)
B.Accounts for 20% of all intracranial tumors
C.Typically benign
D.Between skull and brain
E.Compresses but does not invade brain
IV.  Symptoms/Signs
B.Stroke-like symptoms
D.Loss of vision
E.Personality changes
F.CT scans and MRIs can determine presence and exact location
V.  Types
A.Convexity (curved part of the skull)
B.Cavernous sinus
C.Sphenoid wing
D.Clivus and parasellar regions
E.Cerebellar (also occur)
VI.  Treatments
A.Surgical removal (most common, first option)
B.Regular radiation
C.Stereotactic Radiosurgery (precise radiation delivered to the brain without harm to surrounding tissue/ this is used for meningiomas that are more difficult to safely remove)
VII.  Prognosis
A.Excellent (more than 95% survival rate)
B.Minimal physical therapy may be necessary

My aunt just recently had surgery to remove a benign meningioma.  The surgery was a success and had she survived despite further complications, her treatment following the surgery was to be mere physical therapy to regain full or partial use of her left hand.  

I.  Pathology
 A.  Oligodendroglioma
II.  Etiology
 A.  Unknown
III.  Specifics
A.Affects oligodendrocytes (responsible for myelin production, which covers nerves      
and allows for quick conduction of information)
B.Most common in male adults
C.May be benign or malignant and spread to other parts of brain or even outside
IV.  Symptoms/Signs
C.Visual complications
D.Memory loss
E.Problems with coordination and speech
F.Mood and personality changes
G.Paralysis on one side
H.CT scans and MRIs can determine presence and exact location of tumors
V.  Types
A.Frontal lobe
B.Temporal lobe
VI.  Treatment

VII.  Prognosis
A.Poor long term
B.Often fatality

In addition to current treatment methods for tumors (chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and stereostatic radiosurgery), testing is being done to determine the effects of hyperthermia, gene and viral therapy, as well as immunotherapy (vaccines) as possible treatment methods.  This may be useful because most tumors are more sensitive to heat than other tissues.  Of course, as with all cancers and diseases, continuous research is also being done to determine specific causes.


1.)Histochemistry and Cell Biology.  Springer Berlin Heidelberg. 1999, 2000, 2001. (20 Mar. 2002)
2.)Johns Hopkins Radiosurgery.  The John Hopkins University.  2000. (20 Mar. 2002)
3.)Brain Tumor Group.  Department of Neurosurgery, Nagoya University, Post Graduate School of Medicine.  1999.  (20 Mar. 2002)
4.)Understanding Brain Tumors.  Oligodendroglioma.  Cancer BACUP.  (21 Mar. 2002)    
5.)Tatter, Stephen B., M.D., Ph.D.  Brain Tumor Guide.  1999.  (26 Mar. 2002)