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It is not often that the opportunity arises to do something simple to further brain tumour research, but we've news of a study in which many brain tumour patients can take part by providing a blood sample.
The National Brain Tumour (NBT) Study aims to establish a DNA resource from individuals diagnosed with gliomas (brain tumours) in order to identify new hereditary and/or environmental factors that may increase the risk of developing brain tumours.
Around 5% of patients have a family history of the disease and there is evidence that a greater proportion of relatives have an inherited predisposition. The risk of developing a primary brain tumour in a person with a relative affected with brain cancer is increased by two- to three-fold. Although this could be due to shared environmental factors, the only environmental factor that has been established to increase the risk of primary brain tumours thus far is ionising radiation, which is in itself quite rare.
Collecting blood samples from patients with gliomas opens up the possibility of identifying disease-causing mutations. Identification of these genes should facilitate early diagnosis and may lead to new and innovative treatment approaches.
Any patients between 18 and 80 years of age with a glioma, whether newly diagnosed or diagnosed within the last three years, may take part. If you are interested there are at least 40 centres taking part in the study (see below). Speak with your clinician if you would like to help brain tumour research in this way.
Details of the study, including patient information, can be found on the Institute of Cancer Research NBT web page.
If you would like to speak to someone for more information or to find out how to take part, contact the NBT study co-ordinators direct on 020 8722 4431 or email them at NBTstudy@icr.ac.uk