Introduction

More than 18,000 people were diagnosed with and more than 13,000 died from primary brain tumors in 2003.1 The most common of the primary brain tumors is gliomas. Depending on the grade and morphologic type of glioma, newly diagnosed patients receive watchful waiting, surgical resection,radiotherapy, or chemotherapy, or some combination of these therapies. Regardless of therapy, most patients will progress and have a high risk of mortality and reduced quality of life. Thus, there has been intense interest in understanding the biology and genetics of gliomas, to provide better diagnostic tools and new therapeutic approaches. Molecular pathology markers are being identified that have been or will soon prove to be clinically useful in the practice of clinical neurooncology (see Table 27-1).

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