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Five Genes Raise Risk for Brain Tumors

Conquest - Fall 2009

Common genetic variations spread across five genes raise a person’s risk of developing the most frequent type of brain tumor. Conducted by an international research team, the study is the first to identify glioma risk factors of any type.

Melissa Bondy, Ph.D.

“This is a ground-breaking study because it’s the first time we’ve had a large enough sample to understand the genetic risk factors related to glioma, which opens the door to understanding a possible cause of these brain tumors,” says co-senior author Melissa Bondy, Ph.D., professor in
M. D. Anderson’s Department of Epidemiology.

The top variations in each of the five genes individually raise a person’s glioma risk by 18%, 24%, 27%, 28% and 36% over someone without the variations. The team found that the effects are independent of one another, so risk escalates with the number of genes involved.

Reported in the August issue of Nature Genetics.

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center