[Results of the Sainte-Anne - Lyons series of 318 oligodendroglioma in adults]

Neurochirurgie. 2005 Sep;51(3-4 Pt 2):329-51. doi: 10.1016/s0028-3770(05)83494-0.
[Article in French]


Introduction: Incidence of cerebral oligodendrogliomas is increasing because of better recognition made possible by improved classifications. We studied a homogeneous series using the Sainte-Anne grading scale in order to better understanding the history of these tumors with or without treatment and to assess prognosis and associated factors.

Patients and methods: A retrospective series of 318 adult patients with oligodendroglioma (OLG) treated at Hôpital Sainte-Anne, Paris (SA) and Hôpital Neurologique, Lyons (L) between 1984 and 2003 was analyzed: 182 grade A OLG (SA + L), 136 grade B among which a homogenous series of 98 (SA) were included. For grade A: age at diagnosis ranged from 21 to 70 (mean: 41), sex ratio was 1.28. For grade B: age at diagnosis ranged from 12 to 75 (mean: 45.5), sex-ratio was 1.58. The main first symptoms were: epilepsy (A: 91.5%; B: 76%), intracranial hypertension (A: 7.9%; B: 14.6%), neurological deficit (A: 5.1%; B: 17.7%). The most frequent locations were: frontal, insular and central for both A and B. Mean size was 55 mm for grade A, 62 mm for B. Calcifications were found in 20% of A, 48.5% of B. No tumor was enhanced on imaging (CT/MRI) in grade A, all but 7 in grade B. All patients underwent surgery either for biopsy (A: 47.2%; B: 53%), or removal which was partial (A: 26.4% vs B: 19.4%) or extended (A: 36.3% vs B: 37.8%). Fifty-six patients underwent 2 procedures and 12 three procedures. Radiotherapy was performed in 76.9% of grade A, and 91% of B patients, in the immediate postoperative period for 71% A and 82.7% B. Chemotherapy was delivered for 36% of grade A (in the event of transformation to grade B or failure of radiotherapy) and 67.5% of B patients. Among grade A tumors, 38% transformed into grade B within a mean delay of 51 months with a mean follow-up of 78 months.

Results: Median survival was 136 months for grade A and 52 for grade B. Survival at 5, 10 and 15 was 75.5%, 51% and 22.4% for grade A vs 45.2%, 31.3% and 0% for grade B respectively. In univariate and multivariate analysis, grade A survival was associated with age at diagnosis, tumor size, large removal and response to radiotherapy. Grade B survival was associated with age at diagnosis, wide removal and sharply defined limits of the tumor on imaging.

Conclusions: Analysis of both published data and this series underlines many prognostic parameters. It shows that OLG are heterogeneous tumors even in each grade (A and B). Treatment should consequently progress towards more targeted procedures for patients mainly with postoperative radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Brain Neoplasms / complications
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Brain Neoplasms / therapy
  • Child
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Epilepsy / diagnosis
  • Epilepsy / etiology
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / pathology
  • Frontal Lobe / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging / methods*
  • Oligodendroglioma / complications
  • Oligodendroglioma / pathology*
  • Oligodendroglioma / therapy
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Antineoplastic Agents