What we Know:
Glioma is a brain tumor formed when glia – supportive cells that protect neurons in the brain – become cancerous. Gliomas make up more than two thirds of tumors originating in the brain. As these tumors grow, they damage important nearby brain tissues, causing a range of symptoms including headaches, unsteadiness, cognitive impairment, seizures and personality changes. These tumors are difficult to treat and hard to remove surgically due to their location in the brain. The rapid spread and lack of effective treatments for glioma means that patients with the more malignant form often survive less than 12 months after being diagnosed.
About 5-10% of patients with glioma have a familial history of the disease. Dr. Fiol and his team at the University of Minnesota have used their large databases, from the University of Minnesota Neuro-oncology Program, to identify some of the genes involved in familial glioma progression in 12 families from Minnesota. “Identification of these predisposing genes will allow better understanding of these very malignant tumors and help in treatment,” Dr. Fiol explained to the American Brain Foundation.
Our Plan to Help:
The American Brain Foundation, with your help, will give Dr.Fiol the resources he needs to conduct genetic studies in new families with glioma predisposition, to confirm that his previous research findings hold true. By confirming their results, Dr. Fiol and his team may be able to provide new avenues for diagnosing and treating this devastating disease.