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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Other Names for this Disease
  • Mixed cell tumors containing both neural ganglionic cells and neural glial cell components
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Your Question

My husband has a ganglioglioma, which he has battled for five years.  It seems like all the drugs or surgeries make it grow.  Is there anything you can tell me, such as what caused it or why is it growing so quickly?  I know a lot of people don't have it, but there have to be some answers.  Is any research being done on this condition?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What is a ganglioglioma?

A ganglioglioma is a rare type of brain tumor, accounting for approximately 1% of all brain tumors.[1]  Gangliogliomas occur when a single cell in the brain starts to divide into more cells, forming a tumor.[2]  This can occur when the cell randomly acquires changes (mutations) in genes that regulate how a cell divides.  Most gangliogliomas grow slowly and are considered benign.  However, up to 10% of gangliogliomas may grow more rapidly and become malignant, meaning the tumor affects the surrounding brain tissue.[3]    The main treatment for ganglioglioma is removal of the entire tumor during surgery.  If the entire tumor is not removed, it has the potential to recur and may require additional surgery or treatments, such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy.  Unfortunately, because gangliogliomas are quite rare, there is limited information to show that radiation therapy or chemotherapy are effective treatments for this condition.[3]
Last updated: 7/11/2011

Is any research being done on ganglioglioma?

To the best of our knowledge, there is only one research study being done for ganglioglioma.  This study is examining the use of a particular kind of radiation therapy to treat brain tumors, including gangliogliomas, in children ages 1 to 25.  More information about this study can be found at the website
Last updated: 7/11/2011

  • DeMarchi R, Abu-Abed S, Munoz D, Loch Macdonald R. Malignant ganglioglioma: case report and review of literature. Journal of Neuro-oncology. 2011; 101:311-318. Accessed 7/8/2011.
  • Majores M, von Lehe M, Fassunke J, Schramm J, Becker AJ, Simon M. Tumor Recurrence and Malignant Progression of Gangliogliomas. Cancer. 2008; 113:3355-3363. Accessed 7/7/2011.
  • Selvanathan SK, Hammouche S, Salminen HJ, Jenkinson MD. Outcome and prognostic features in anaplastic ganglioglioma: analysis of cases from the SEER database. Journal of Neuro-oncology. 2011; Epub ahead of print: Accessed 10/18/2011.