Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Infections could contribute to adult brain tumours

24.01.2006


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:
http://www.newcastle.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht On track to heal leukaemia
18.01.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

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: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>