The finding that most grades II and III gliomas harbor isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) mutations conveying a relatively favorable and fairly similar prognosis in both tumor grades highlights that these tumors represent a fundamentally different entity from IDH wild-type gliomas exemplified in most glioblastoma. Herein we review the most recent developments in molecular neuropathology leading to reclassification of these tumors based upon IDH and 1p/19q status, as well as the potential roles of methylation profiling and deletional analysis of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2A and 2B. We discuss the epidemiology, clinical manifestations, benefit of surgical resection, and neuroimaging features of lower-grade gliomas as they relate to molecular subtype, including advanced imaging techniques such as 2-hydroxyglutarate magnetic resonance spectroscopy and amino acid PET scanning. Recent, ongoing, and planned studies of radiation therapy and both cytotoxic and targeted chemotherapies are summarized, including both small molecule and immunotherapy approaches specifically targeting the mutant IDH protein.
Keywords: IDH mutation; astrocytoma; glioma; lower-grade; oligodendroglioma.
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