Brain tumor epidemiology: consensus from the Brain Tumor Epidemiology Consortium.
Cancer. 2008 Oct 1 ;113(7 Suppl):1953-68. PMID: 18798534
Melissa L Bondy
Epidemiologists in the Brain Tumor Epidemiology Consortium (BTEC) have prioritized areas for further research. Although many risk factors have been examined over the past several decades, there are few consistent findings, possibly because of small sample sizes in individual studies and differences between studies in patients, tumor types, and methods of classification. Individual studies generally have lacked samples of sufficient size to examine interactions. A major priority based on available evidence and technologies includes expanding research in genetics and molecular epidemiology of brain tumors. BTEC has taken an active role in promoting understudied groups, such as pediatric brain tumors; the etiology of rare glioma subtypes, such as oligodendroglioma; and meningioma, which, although it is not uncommon, has only recently been registered systematically in the United States. There also is a pressing need for more researchers, especially junior investigators, to study brain tumor epidemiology. However, relatively poor funding for brain tumor research has made it difficult to encourage careers in this area. In this report, BTEC epidemiologists reviewed the group's consensus on the current state of scientific findings, and they present a consensus on research priorities to identify which important areas the science should move to address.