Brain Tumour Types

Brain Tumour Types

In this section we have included information on the most common grade III (3) and grade IV (4) brain tumours. Brain tumours are graded using the World Health Organisation (WHO) system.


GRADE I Brain Tumour

● slow growing cells
● almost normal appearance under a microscope
● least Malignant
● usually associated with long-term survival

● relatively slow growing cells
● slightly abnormal appearance under a microscope
● can invade adjacent normal tissue
● can recur as a higher grade Tumor

● actively reproducing abnormal cells
● abnormal appearance under a microscope
● infiltrate adjacent normal brain tissue
● tumor tends to recur, often at higher grade

● abnormal cells which reproduce rapidly
● very abnormal appearance under a microscope
● form new blood vessels to maintain rapid growth
● areas of dead cells in center

Tumours that begin in brain tissue are known as primary tumours of the brain. Primary brain tumors are named according to the type of cells or the part of the brain in which they begin.

Table 2 WHO Grading of Tumours of the Central Nervous System.

Reprinted from Louis DN, Ohgaki H, Wiestler OD, Cavenee WK (eds) (2007) WHO Classification of tumours of the central nervous system. IARC, Lyon


Below is a list of the most common WHO Grade III and Grade IV primary brain tumours:

1. Astrocytic Tumours:

2. Oligodendroglial Tumours:

3. Mixed Gliomas:

4. Ependymal Tumours:

5. Neuroepithelial tumours of uncertain origin:

6. Neuronal and mixed neuronal- Glial tumours:

7. Embryonal tumours:

8. choroid plexus tumours:

9. Pineal parenchymal tumours:

10. Meningeal Tumours:

Secondary Brain Tumours

Cancer that spreads to the brain from another part of the body is different from a primary brain tumor. When cancer cells spread to the brain from another organ (such as the lung or breast), doctors may call the tumor in the brain a secondary tumour or metastatic tumour. Secondary tumors in the brain are far more common than primary brain tumors. For more information on metastatic tumours click the link below:


This page was last modified on 24th January 2013 at 19:05


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