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Research suggests that immune response protects against brain tumor development

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The researchers also asked participants about their history of chicken pox. A latent infection is known to promote low level inflammation in the brain, which could also provide an immune response that protects against tumor development. They found that a history of chicken pox significantly reduced the risk of developing AA tumors. The risk of developing the other two kinds of tumors studied was also reduced (40 percent for GMB and 22 percent for LGG), but not significantly so.

Finally, the researchers looked at use of anti-inflammatory (Cox-2 inhibitors) drugs among study participants and found a significant reduction (31 percent) in development of GBM among those who used them.

"There are three pathways that lead to inflammation in the brain, and reducing one with a Cox-2 inhibitor may be beneficial," Bondy says.

"These are all interesting signals that may give us a clue as to the role of inflammation and development of different kinds of brain tumors," Scheurer says. "We will need much more epidemiological and genetic data to make any firm conclusions and are collaborating with other institutions to pull that information together."
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2-Apr-2006


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