What is anaplastic astrocytoma?

Also known as: astrocytoma, grade III-1V astrocytoma, glioblastoma, and others.

Astrocytes cells (a type of glial cells) are a diverse group of cells which play many roles in the brain, but particularly form the physical and physiological supportive system for the brain’s neurons (the specialized working part of the brain that transmits information to other nerve cells, muscles or gland cells).

Astrocytomas (or gliomas) are tumors that grow from these cells and make up almost 50% of childhood brain tumors, frequently occurring in children between 5-9 years of age.

There are 4 types of astrocytoma which may be:

  • low (Grades 1 or 11; most common)
  • fast-growing (High Grades/Anaplastic 111 or 1V).

These tumors are malignant (can spread throughout the brain/spinal cord, and are often found in the large upper part of the brain -but also in other areas- which controls thinking, emotions, reading etc.).


Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

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