What are the types of Adult Brain Cancer?

Jan 10, 2013

Quick Bites:

• Astrocytic Tumors
        -Brain Stem Gliomas
       - Pineal Astrocytic Tumors
       - Pilocytic Astrocytomas
        -Diffuse Astrocytomas
        -Anaplastic Astrocytomas
• Oligodendroglial Tumors
• Mixed Gliomas
• Ependymal Tumors
• Embryonal Cell Tumors: Medulloblastoma
• Pineal Parenchymal Tumors
• Meningeal Tumors
• Germ Cell Tumors
• Tumors of the Sellar Region: Craniopharyngioma
• Recurrent Brain Tumors
• Metastatic Brain Tumors


Astrocytic Tumors


An astrocytic tumor begins in star-shaped brain cells called astrocytes, which help keep nerve cells healthy. An astrocyte is a type of glial cell and is sometimes called a glioma. Astrocytic tumors include the following:

•    Brain stem glioma:


A brain stem glioma forms in the brain stem, which is the part of the brain connected to the spinal cord. It is often a high-grade tumor, which spreads widely through the brain stem and is hard to cure. A brain stem glioma rarely occurs in adults.

•    Pineal astrocytic tumor:


A pineal astrocytic tumor forms in tissue around the pineal gland and may be any grade. The pineal gland is a tiny organ in the brain that makes melatonin, a hormone that helps control the sleeping and waking cycle.

•    Pilocytic astrocytoma (grade I):


A pilocytic astrocytoma grows slowly in the brain or spinal cord. It may be in the form of a cyst and rarely spreads into nearby tissues. This type of tumor is most common in children and young adults and in people with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). A pilocytic astrocytoma rarely causes death.

•    Diffuse astrocytoma (grade II):


A diffuse astrocytoma grows slowly, but often spreads into nearby tissues. Sometimes a diffuse astrocytoma progresses to a higher grade and becomes an anaplastic astrocytoma or a glioblastoma. A diffuse astrocytoma can form in any part of the brain but most often forms in the cerebrum. It is most common in young adults and in people with Li-Fraumeni syndrome. It is also called a low-grade diffuse astrocytoma.

•    Anaplastic astrocytoma (grade III):


An anaplastic astrocytoma grows quickly and spreads into nearby tissues. An anaplastic astrocytoma may progress to a higher grade and become a glioblastoma. An anaplastic astrocytoma forms most often in the cerebrum and is most common in adults. An anaplastic astrocytoma is also called a malignant astrocytoma or high-grade astrocytoma.

•    Glioblastoma (grade IV):


A glioblastoma grows and spreads very quickly. A glioblastoma forms most often in the cerebrum. This type of tumor is most common in adults. This type of tumor has a poor prognosis. It is also called glioblastoma multiforme.


Oligodendroglial Tumors


An oligodendroglial tumor begins in brain cells called oligodendrocytes, which help keep nerve cells healthy. Oligodendrocytes are a type of glial cell and are sometimes called a glioma. Grades of oligodendroglial tumors include the following:

•    Oligodendroglioma (grade II):


An oligodendroglioma grows and spreads slowly and the tumor cells look very much like normal cells. This type of tumor most often ...