What causes brain tumors?
The majority of brain tumors have abnormalities of genes involved in cell cycle control, causing uncontrolled cell growth. These abnormalities are caused by alterations directly in the genes, or by chromosome rearrangements which change the function of a gene.
Patients with certain genetic conditions (i.e., neurofibromatosis, von Hippel-Lindau disease, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, and retinoblastoma) also have an increased risk to develop tumors of the central nervous system. There have also been some reports of people in the same family developing brain tumors who do not have any of these genetic syndromes.
Research has been investigating parents of children with brain tumors and their past exposure to certain chemicals. Some chemicals may change the structure of a gene that protects the body from diseases and cancer. Workers in oil refining, rubber manufacturing, and chemists have a higher incidence of certain types of tumors. Which, if any, chemical toxin is related to this increase in tumors is unknown at this time.
Patients who have received radiation therapy to the head as part of prior treatment for other malignancies are also at an increased risk for new brain tumors.
Brain Tumor Center at Rush
The Brain Tumor Center at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, offers a multidisciplinary approach to the diagnosis and treatment of all forms of brain tumors (cancerous and noncancerous). At Rush, patients have access to the latest diagnostic and treatment options, from stereotactic radiosurgery to minimally invasive brain and skull base surgery that can be performed without incisions and that requires only a short hospital stay.
For more information visit the Brain Tumor Center home page.