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Can J Neurol Sci. 2008 May;35(2):204-9.

Leptomeningeal disease from oligodendroglioma: clinical and molecular analysis.

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Department of Oncology, Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Alberta Cancer Board, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta. Canada.



Leptomeningeal disease (LMD) is a late complication of malignant glioma, mostly of glioblastoma, that usually responds poorly to treatment and is rapidly fatal. A long surviving case led us to review our experience with LMD in patients with oligodendrogliomas.


A 15-year retrospective chart review was performed. Patients with both oligodendroglial tumors and LMD were identified. A single neuro-pathologist reviewed all histological sections, a single neuro-radiologist reviewed all available images and 1p/19q status was assessed.


Seven out of 145 patients with oligodendroglioma were diagnosed with LMD. Six were male. Median age at tumor diagnosis was 41 years (range, 28-50). None had radiographic or pathological evidence of leptomeningeal or subependymal tumor at initial diagnosis. Most patients had pure anaplastic oligodendrogliomas (4/7); 6/7 had 1p/19q co-deletion. The median time to first relapse was 41 months (range, 19-127). The median time to LMD was 76 months (range, 19-151) from initial diagnosis and 28 months (range, 0-36) from first relapse, respectively. Leptomeningeal disease treatments included spinal radiation and intrathecal and systemic chemotherapy. After progression, some patients with LMD remained stable clinically. The median survival from initial diagnosis was 104 months (range, 19-183) and from LMD diagnosis was 32 months (range, 2-43).


Leptomeningeal disease is a complication of oligodendroglioma that may occur preferentially in long surviving patients with 1p/19q co-deletion. Leptomeningeal disease in patients with oligodendrogliomas appears to be relatively indolent which may have implications for their treatment and be related to 1p/19q status.

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