Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Infections could contribute to adult brain tumours


Infections could play a key role in triggering certain types of adult brain cancer, according to results from a new statistical analysis of the disease.

The international study, led by Dr Richard McNally at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, was funded by Cancer Research UK, the Dutch Cancer Society, and the Christie Hospital Research Endowment Fund.

The British and Dutch team* analysed a database of adult brain tumours diagnosed in patients from the North Brabant province of the Netherlands between 1983 and 2001. They found clusters of cases of glioma tumours, which make up about half of all brain tumours, at different time intervals in different geographical locations.

This ‘space-time clustering’ of cases is a pattern typical of diseases caused by infections, adding weight to the theory that outbreaks of viruses are a potential contributory cause of brain tumours. Diseases caused by more constant environmental factors, such as pollution, produce clusters of cases in one place over a much longer time period.

However, the research team stresses it is too early to say exactly which infections could be the cause, and say that more research is needed to pinpoint what they are.

The findings, published in the European Journal of Cancer, may potentially be a step towards developing better preventative measures for cancer and may also result in better treatment.

Dr Richard McNally, of Newcastle University’s School of Clinical Medical Sciences (Child Health), said: “Very little is known about the cause of brain tumours and we think our research brings us closer to understanding more about this disease.

“We only found clustering of cases in the East of the province we investigated, and we think it could be something to do with the way infections spread in less densely populated areas.”

However, the researchers stress that people cannot ‘catch cancer’. Infections are only likely to trigger cancer in a very small number of individuals who are already genetically susceptible to the disease.

The team looked at data from the Eindhoven Cancer Registry. They analysed results for the East and West of the 5000 square-kilometre province separately. They found an irregular pattern where many cases occurred at the same time in men and women over 15-years old in the East but not in the West. Around seven per cent more cases of brain tumours were observed to occur in ‘clusters’ than would be expected by chance.

This is the first study to carry out this sophisticated form of statistical analysis known as ‘clustering’ in brain tumours in adults.

The results of this work are consistent with earlier research led by Dr McNally into childhood cancer in North West England. This discovered patterns in the diagnosis of two types of cancer - leukaemia and brain tumours - in that they tended to occur together at similar times and geographical locations.

Dr McNally, who also works with Newcastle University’s School of Population and Health Sciences, added: “Future research should try to identify specific infections which could potentially be a trigger. If these are found, it could lead to future preventative measures.”

Professor John Toy, Cancer Research UK’s medical director, said: “Brain cancer is rare, accounting for less than two per cent of all new adult cancers diagnosed in the UK each year. These findings suggest a possible link between infection and this type of the disease but by no means provide proof.”

Dr Richard McNally | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Inflammation Triggers Unsustainable Immune Response to Chronic Viral Infection
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

New method increases energy density in lithium batteries

24.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

International team discovers novel Alzheimer's disease risk gene among Icelanders

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

New bacteria groups, and stunning diversity, discovered underground

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>