Consortium of international hospitals receives $11 million to conduct study of genetic brain tumors

m the National Cancer Institute, The American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) has provided funds to support the genetic analysis, which will be carried out in North America by Ching Lau, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine and a researcher at the Texas Children's Cancer Center. The genetic analysis of patients in Europe and Israel will be conducted at the Institute of Cancer Research in the United Kingdom.

"The hopes and dreams of countless individuals accompany this research grant to advance our understanding of brain tumor etiology," said Naomi Berkowitz, executive director of the ABTA.

As so little is known about the genetic abnormalities in gliomas, a wealth of information is waiting to be discovered, according to Bondy. The ABTA estimates that nearly 360,000 individuals in the United States are living after the diagnosis of a primary brain tumor. ABTA also reports that in most brain cancers there are no apparent risk factors.

"Studying rare and highly fatal cancer sites is very difficult," said Malmer. "Collaboration is the only fruitful way to see considerable progress in this field. We will continue to recruit other European centers to broaden the reach and impact of the Gliogene study."

To be eligible for participation in the Gliogene study, families must have two or more biologically related members who have been diagnosed with a primary brain tumor. Individuals who choose to participate in the study will be asked to complete a 45-minute family history and risk factor interview over the phone. Participants and their family members also will be asked to provide a small blood sample. As all aspects of the Gliogene study can be completed via phone or mail, participants do not need to live near one of the collaborating institutions. All family information will remain strictly confidential.

"By providing a family history and blood sample, patients and their families enable

Contact: Claire Tyson
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

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