Tuesday, November 06, 2007

X-rays and brain tumor connection

Because my mother had the same kind of brain tumor I have, I worry that a sensitivity to X-rays might be a possible cause of my meningioma and worry that I should avoid X-rays, but I have a toothache. The dentist wants to give me X-rays. :-(

If interested, see study below.

Lancet Oncology 2007; 8:403-410



Genetic predisposition for the development of radiation-associated meningioma: an epidemiological study

Pazit Flint-Richter PhD a and Dr Siegal Sadetzki MD email address a b Corresponding Author Information



Ionising radiation is an established risk factor for meningioma, yet less than 1% of irradiated individuals develop this tumour. Familial aggregation of meningioma is rare. We aimed to assess whether genetic factors can modify the risk for meningioma formation after the initiating effect of radiation, by comparison of the frequency of meningiomas in families that included irradiated and unirradiated siblings.


This study was based on a larger epidemiological, genetic case-control study, and included 525 families that were divided according to irradiation and disease status of each of the family's index participant: 160 had radiation-associated meningioma (RAM); 145 were irradiated and did not develop meningioma; 85 had meningioma with no previous history of irradiation; and 135 were unirradiated and did not develop meningioma. Data were collected by questionnaires.


We found additional first-degree relatives with meningioma in 17 families (11%) in the RAM group, whereas only between one and two such families (1%) were found in the other groups (p<0·0001). p="0·04)." color="yellow">Interpretation

This dataset of families, which included irradiated and unirradiated, and also affected and unaffected family members, created a natural experiment. Our results support the idea that genetic susceptibility increases the risk of developing meningioma after exposure to radiation. Further studies are needed to identify the specific genes involved in this familial sensitivity to ionising radiation. DNA repair and cell-cycle control genes, such as the ataxia-telangiectasia gene, could be plausible candidates for investigation.


a. Cancer and Radiation Epidemiology Unit, Gertner Institute, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel

another study, another study,


BerryBird said...

The amount of x-rays we are all given is frightening, given this context. I always find the dental ones superflueous, having never had a cavity, but rarely work up the courage to say no outright. The x-rays might be warranted in your case (this time) considering your dental pain.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

I used to say no to X-rays most of the time and only say yes occasionally--rarely! Now I say no all the time, but may say yes because this toothache is getting troublesome. I was hoping it would GO AWAY!


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