Gliogene is the largest genetic study of glioma in families that aims to find a genetic link to brain tumors. 400 families have participated to date. Melissa Bondy, PhD, professor of medicine and epidemiology and population sciences at Baylor College of Medicine, spent her career researching familial brain tumors. Bondy notes “About 5 percent of all cancers, including glioma, have a familial predisposition you have inherited from some other generation.” She continued, “I always give the example of breast cancer because it has the same familial predisposition, but there are much bigger numbers in breast cancer.”
The National Brain Tumor Society estimates that 26,170 people will be diagnosed this year with malignant brain tumor. Of the other group known as glioma, Bondy and her team are looking for nearly 1,000 people and their relatives who are likely to have a familial disposition.
The National Brain Tumor Society reports that 700,000 people in the United States are living with brain tumors.
The Gliogene Study
Supported by the National Cancer Institute, the Gliogene study aims to identify the exact set of genes that can indicate a familial risk for glioma. The study is conducted in coordination with Benjamin Deneen, PhD, professor in Baylor’s Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center and member of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Matthew Bainbridge, PhD, associate director of clinical genomics research at the Genomics Institute at Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego
Bondy and team have identified Pot1, a gene that regulates the telomeres, causing them to be elongated and increasing the risk of brain tumors. Bondy and her team at Baylor are searching for more families who have been impacted by glioma to participate in the Gliogene study. Enrollment is open and prospective participants should visit the Baylor College of Medicine website. An observational study, the sponsors seek up to 17080 participants in this family-based model.
Sanjay Shete, PhD, MD Anderson Cancer Center