This paper presents the clinical and pathological data obtained from 42 patients with oligodendroglioma diagnosed over a 20 year period at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge. In all cases the diagnosis was established unequivocally by histological examination. The principal conclusions of this study were: (1) the outcome was not as favourable as anticipated, nine patients dying within 1 year of diagnosis, and only 10 patients surviving 5 years, (2) age at the time of diagnosis was the single most important prognostic factor, patients under 45 years at diagnosis having a significantly greater survival time than older patients, (3) two other factors had a significantly adverse effect on prognosis, namely the presence of a focal neurological deficit at the time of diagnosis and the presence of nuclear pleomorphism in the tumour when examined histologically, (4) although cells containing glial fibrillary acidic protein were demonstrated in almost every tumour, their number and distribution did not appear to influence the prognosis.
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