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Metastatic oligodendrogliomas: a review of the literature and case report

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Oligodendroglioma cells are detectable in the cerebro-spinal fluid in up to 14% of patients [10] and cerebellar and/or spinal cord involvement is a well known phenomenon [3]. Distant spread of oligodendroglioma is exceptional, probably due to the presence of the blood-brain barrier, the absence of lymphatic vessels and the short survival of patients.

A review of the worldwide literature yielded 32 previously reported examples since 1951 to the present (Tab1e 1). This review was performed using NCBI-PubMed and “oligodendroglioma, oligodendrogliomas, metastatic, metastasis, metastases, extraneural”, in different combinations, as key words and reviewing the bibliography of the consequent selected articles.

New therapeutic approaches are prolonging the overall survival of patients with primitive brain tumours and in particular of those with high grade oligodendroglioma which is a chemo-sensitive disease. A longer overall survival could increase the risk of extracranial dissemination of gliomas that in the future might become a less rare clinical complication.

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Correspondence to F. Zustovich.

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Correspondence: Fable Zustovich, Oncologia Medica 1, Istituto Oncologico Veneto, I.R.C.C.S, Padova, Italy; Ospedale Busonera, Via Gattamelata 64, 35128 Padova, Italy.

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Zustovich, F., Della Puppa, A., Scienza, R. et al. Metastatic oligodendrogliomas: a review of the literature and case report. Acta Neurochir (Wien) 150, 699–703 (2008).

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