Glioma is the most common form of central nervous system (CNS) neoplasm that originates from glial cells. In the United States, there are six cases of gliomas diagnosed per 100,000 people every year. Gliomas are very diffusely infiltrative tumors that affect the surrounding brain tissue. Glioblastoma is the most malignant type while pilocytic astrocytomas are the least malignant brain tumors.
In the past, these diffuse gliomas were classified into different subtypes and grades based on histopathologies such as a diffuse astrocytoma, oligodendrogliomas, or mixed gliomas/oligoastrocytomas. Recently, gliomas were classified based on molecular and genetic markers. These advances have more specific prognostic and therapeutic benefits for patients with gliomas. In addition to molecular and genetic markers, gliomas are classified in grade I to IV based on the degree of proliferation indicated by the mitotic index and the presence or absence of necrosis.
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