Last Reviewed : 12/24/2020

Astrocytomas are a type of cancer of the brain. They originate in a particular kind of glial cells, star-shaped brain cells in thecerebrum called astrocytes. This type of tumor does not usually spread outside the brain and spinal cord and it does not usually affect other organs. Astrocytomas are the most common glioma and can occur in most parts of the brain and occasionally in the spinal cord. Within the astrocytomas, there are two broad classes recognized in literature, those with:

  • Narrow zones of infiltration (mostly noninvasive tumors; e.g., pilocytic astrocytoma, subependymal giant cell astrocytoma, pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma), that often are clearly outlined on diagnostic images
  • Diffuse zones of infiltration (e.g., high-grade astrocytoma, anaplastic astrocytoma, glioblastoma), that share various features, including the ability to arise at any location in the CNS (Central Nervous System), but with a preference for the cerebral hemispheres; they occur usually in adults; and an intrinsic tendency to progress to more advanced grades.

People can develop astrocytomas at any age. The low-grade type is more often found in children or young adults, while the high-grade type are more prevalent in adults. Astrocytomas in the base of the brain are more common in young people and account for roughly 75% of neuroepithelial tumors


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Basic information: web md what is astrocytoma? cleveland clinic childhood astrocytoma treatment john hopkins medicine astrocytomas in children brain tumor foundation anaplastic astrocytoma medicine net definition of astrocytoma epilepsy foundation astrocytoma


Advanced information: medscape astrocytoma american association of neurological surgeons astrocytoma natonal organisation for rare diseases astrocytoma astrocytoma - childhood radiopedia astrocytic tumours radiopedia who grading system for diffuse astrocytomas neuro pathology tumors of glial cells-a: astrocytoma, glioblastoma, oligodendroglioma web pathology diffuse (fibrillary) astrocytoma



sun jj, wang zy, li ls, yu hy, xu ys, wu hb, luo y, liu b, zheng m, mao jl, lou xh. prevention against diffuse spinal cord astrocytoma: can the notch pathway be a novel treatment target?. neural regen res [serial online] 2015 [cited 2016 nov 24];10:244-51. available from: liang q, ma c, zhao y, gao g, ma j (2013) inhibition of stat3 reduces astrocytoma cell invasion and constitutive activation of stat3 predicts poor prognosis in human astrocytoma. plos one 8(12): e84723. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0084723 zhi f, zhou g, shao n, xia x, shi y, et al. (2013) mir-106a-5p inhibits the proliferation and migration of astrocytoma cells and promotes apoptosis by targeting fastk. plos one 8(8): e72390. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0072390 peroxynitrite decomposition catalyst prevents apoptotic cell death in a human astrocytoma cell line incubated with supernatants of hiv-infected macrophages by carolina muscoli et al, bmc neuroscience20023:13 doi: 10.1186/1471-2202-3-13 expression of iron-related genes in human brain and brain tumors by milla m hänninen et al., bmc neuroscience200910:36 doi: 10.1186/1471-2202-10-36 knockdown of stat3 expression by rnai induces apoptosis in astrocytoma cells by liza konnikova et al., bmc cancer20033:23 doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-3-23 k. srinivasa rao, i. lakshmi spandana, sanjeeva kumar desai. ”phakomatosis: intresting cases of tuberous sclerosis with retinal astrocytoma”. journal of evidence based medicine and healthcare; volume 2, issue 20, may 18, 2015; page: 3052-3058. effectiveness of interferon-beta and temozolomide combination therapy against temozolomide-refractory recurrent anaplastic astrocytoma by takamitsu fujimaki et al.,world journal of surgical oncology20075:89 doi: 10.1186/1477-7819-5-89 maher kurdi, hosam al-ardati, and saleh s. baeesa, “malignant trigeminal nerve sheath tumor and anaplastic astrocytoma collision tumor with high proliferative activity and tumor suppressor p53 expression,” case reports in pathology, vol. 2014, article id 153197, 6 pages, 2014. doi:10.1155/2014/153197 : lee sy, slagle-webb b, rizk e, patel a, miller pa, et al. (2014) characterization of a novel anti-cancer compound for astrocytomas. plos one 9(9):e108166. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0108166

deshmukh ys, atre al, vhora ss, karnik sv. a case report on paraneoplastic encephalitis associated with astrocytoma - an unknown entity. indian j radiol imaging [serial online] 2016 [cited 2016 nov 24];26:140-4. available from: rao sam, srinivasan s, patric irp, hegde as, chandramouli ba, et al. (2014) a 16-gene signature distinguishes anaplastic astrocytoma from glioblastoma. plos one 9(1): e85200. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0085200


Other articles: pet md brain tumor (astrocytoma) in dogs


Other helpful resources(support groups): american brain tumor association canadian cancer society


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