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  • Question: After my diagnosis a year ago of a large grade II mixed glioma, I was told by an oncologist (who has worked with brain cancer patients) that it was a question of "when", and not "if", the tumor progresses to a higher grade. In other words, that progression is inevitable. However, when I later met with a neuro-oncologist and asked him about this, he said there was no evidence/ basis for this point of view. Was the neuro-oncologist simply trying to keep me optimistic? How likely is it that my glioma will not actually progress to a higher grade? Is there any documentation of a person diagnosed with a grade II glioma living until a much older age with no progression ever occuring in the glioma? By the way, the NO recommended I go on Temodar sooner rather than later, in spite of his saying there is no basis for the "when, not if", point of view. I trust the NO, because after all he is a neuro-oncologist, but from my internet reading, it seems as though progression is indeed inevitable. I would greatly appreciate your take on this.
  • Answer:11/27/2009
    Likelihood or odds are good for populations not individuals. For you, it is either zero or 100%. We do not know if earlier chemo is helpful for this situation or not. Not enough experience.

    Paul M. Zeltzer MD Clinical Professor in Neurosurgery David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
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