40% of all cancers spread to the brain
Most brain tumours are named after the cells from which they develop. Within the
brain there are nerve cells and also cells that support and protect the nerve cells. The supporting cells are called glial cells. A tumour of these cells is known as a glioma.
Astrocytomas, ependymomas and oligodendrogliomas are all types of glioma. They are named after the cells from which they grow: astrocytes, ependymal cells and oligodendrocytes.
A mixed glioma is a malignant tumour that contains more than one of these cell types, for example, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. This type of mixed glioma is referred to as an oligo-astrocytoma and shows characteristics of both these tumours.
The most common site for a mixed glioma is the cerebrum, the main part of the brain. Like other malignant tumours, it may spread to other parts of the brain.
Although mixed gliomas are more common in adults, they can occur in children. For unknown reasons, they are more common in men than women.