Navigation Links
Allergies Linked to Lower Brain Cancer Rate in Study
Date:2/7/2011

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- If you suffer from allergies, take heart: Researchers say you may be less likely to develop a tough-to-treat brain cancer, possibly because your immune system is on high alert.

It's not clear how this knowledge might improve prevention or treatment of brain cancer, but the study's lead author said the findings pave the way for further research.

"We need to do more studies to really get at that underlying mechanism. Then we might be able to do things that would influence people who might have a higher risk or may have a family history," said Bridget J. McCarthy, a research associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The lesions studied are known as gliomas, the most common type of adult brain tumor. They account for more than half of the 18,000-plus malignant brain tumors diagnosed in the United States every year, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

Gliomas -- which led to the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy -- often cause death within months, despite surgery or treatment with chemotherapy or radiation.

Researchers have published conflicting studies about whether people with allergies and autoimmune disorders (which cause the immune system to attack the body) have a lower risk of developing the tumors, McCarthy said. "We wanted to look at the spectrum and see if we found the association with any type of allergy," McCarthy explained.

In the study, published Feb. 7 in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, McCarthy and colleagues examined surveys filled out by 419 patients with gliomas and 612 cancer-free patients from North Carolina and Illinois. All of the patients were asked if they had doctor-diagnosed allergies -- seasonal, medication, food, pet or any other -- and whether they took antihistamines.

The researchers found that patients with both high- and low-grade tumors were more likely to report no allergies than the other patients. And the more allergies someone had, the lower their odds of having gliomas. Antihistamine use didn't affect the results, the authors said.

However, the study didn't specify exactly how much more likely it is that an allergy-free person will develop a glioma compared to someone who has allergies.

What might allergies -- or the lack of them -- have to do with brain tumors? McCarthy said overactive immune systems may cause allergies and also allow people to fight off cancer. Figuring out what to do about this is the tough question.

"Obviously, it's not like allergies are a modifiable risk factor," she said. "You can't tell people to go out and develop allergies. That's not going to happen. And you can't tell people with allergies that, 'You're doing a good thing, and don't try to get rid of them.'"

The study doesn't prove a cause and effect -- that allergies directly lower the risk of brain tumor. It only shows a possible connection, one that doesn't sway Dr. Eugene S. Flamm, chairman of the department of neurosurgery at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

Flamm said the study is small and draws conclusions "far beyond the observational data."

"As the authors point out, there are several conflicting reports in the literature, and this paper does not resolve the issue in any way," Flamm said.

One reason for the conflicting reports, the authors said, was that "allergy" was defined differently in various studies -- sometimes broadly and sometimes narrowly, as in seasonal allergies alone. Further studies are essential, they said.

More information

For more about brain cancer, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Bridget J. McCarthy, Ph.D., research associate professor of epidemiology, University of Illinois at Chicago; Eugene S. Flamm, M.D., Jeffrey P. Bergstein Professor and chairman, department of neurological surgery, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City; February 2011, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. More than allergies: Histamine may be a possible drug target for multiple sclerosis
2. Teens With Food Allergies May Feel Unsafe at School
3. Take Steps to Avoid Winters Indoor Allergies
4. New Guidelines Aid in Diagnosis of Food Allergies
5. Preparation Can Help Kids With Nut Allergies Travel Safely
6. When Romance and Allergies Dont Mix
7. Antibody Linked to Allergies on the Rise
8. Pregnancy During Spring May Boost Kids Risk of Food Allergies
9. Food allergies raise risk of asthma attacks
10. Children, males and blacks are at increased risk for food allergies
11. Johns Hopkins researchers turn off severe food allergies in mice
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Allergies Linked to Lower Brain Cancer Rate in Study
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded their highest five-star rating to ... of individuals in the United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once considered to be ... vision and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as a way of ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... blind and certified personal trainer is helping to develop a weight loss fitness plan that ... the two major problems leading the fitness industry today:, , All ... They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit their exercise program , ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 ... their specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ... and all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Montreal, Canada (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... the pursuit of success. In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high ... low, risk more than just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Dallas, Texas (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 ... ... 12th International Conference and Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two ... Announcement of the grants came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... and INDIANAPOLIS , June 23, ... a Lilly Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship is any indication, ... winners, announced today online at www.diabetesscholars.org by ... 1 diabetes stand in the way of academic and ... the Foundation,s scholarship program since 2012, and continues to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  Guerbet announced today ... Inc.,s Supplier Horizon Award . One ... Guerbet was recognized for its support of Premier members ... through clinical excellence, and commitment to lower costs. ... receive this recognition of our outstanding customer service from ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  Experian Health, the healthcare industry ... patient payment and care experience, today announced ... and services that will enhance the breadth ... These award-winning solutions will enable healthcare professionals ... in an ever-changing environment and redefine front-office ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: