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Anaplastic oligoastrocytoma

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Anaplastic oligoastrocytoma is a brain tumor that forms when two types of cells in the brain, called oligodendrocytes and astrocytes, rapidly increase in number to form a mass.  These brain cells are known as glial cells, which normally protect and support nerve cells in the brain.  Because an oligoastrocytoma is made up of a combination of two cell types, it is known as a mixed glioma.[1]  An oligoastrocytoma is described as anaplastic when the tumor grows quickly and the cancer cells within the tumor have the potential to spread into surrounding brain tissue or to more distant parts of the body.  Oligoastrocytomas usually occur in a part of the brain called the cerebrum and are diagnosed in adults between the ages of 30 and 50.[2]  The exact cause of this condition is unknown.[3][2]
Last updated: 10/8/2012


  1. Oligoastrocytoma. National Cancer Institute. Accessed 10/4/2012.
  2. American Brain Tumor Association. Oligoastrocytoma. Understanding Brain Tumors. 2012; Accessed 10/4/2012.
  3. Oligodendroglioma and Oligoastrocytoma. American Brain Tumor Association. Accessed 10/4/2012.
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