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First National Study of Risk Factors and Effects of Meningioma

Posted on: 08/05/2006



Jacqueline Weaver

First National Study of Risk Factors
and Effects of Meningioma

New Haven, Conn. ? Yale School of Medicine is leading a $9.5 million study funded by the National Institutes of Health into the causes and effects of meningioma, a relatively common type of brain tumor that is usually benign and most often occurs in middle-aged or elderly women.

A meningioma is a tumor of the meninges or protective membranes around the brain and spinal cord. These tumors can start in any part of the brain or spinal cord, but the most common sites are the cerebral hemispheres of the brain.

“At present the two factors most associated with meningioma are hormones and radiation exposure,” said the principal investigator, Elizabeth Claus, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health. “However, even these factors remain unexplored.”

The five-year grant from the NIH will also evaluate the quality of life for persons with meningioma, which though usually non-malignant is frequently associated with neurological complications.

The NIH stated in awarding the grant that it was an ideal time to launch such a study given the recently enacted Benign Brain Tumor Cancer Registries Amendment, which mandates that federal cancer data collection processes include data on benign brain tumors.

Claus proposes to collect data from 1,520 patients--1,000 women and 520 men, as well as 1,520 unaffected individuals. The data will be gathered from five population-based study sites in Connecticut, Massachusetts, North Carolina, the San Francisco Bay area and Harris County in Texas.

Additional investigators in the multi-center study include Hongya Zhao of Yale; Joseph Wiemels and Margaret Wrensch, the University of California at San Francisco; Joellen Schildkraut, Duke University; Melissa Brody, the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Peter Black, M.D., Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston.


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