Is There a Relationship Between Allergies and Brain Tumors?

New research published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute  concluded that there may be a link between allergies and a reduced risk of a serious type of cancer starting in the brain and  known as glioma and the relationship may be stronger among women than men. Researchers have noted this relationship  previously but have  not known whether the reduced risk was a result of the allergies or whether the tumor  preceded the allergies.

Analyzing stored blood samples taken from patients decades before a diagnoses of glioma researchers found that men and women whose blood samples contained allergy-related antibodies had an almost 50 percent lower risk of developing glioma 20 years later than those without signs of allergies. The authors said “The longer before glioma diagnosis that the effect of allergies is present, the less likely it is that the tumor is suppressing allergies. Seeing this association so long before tumor diagnosis suggests our antibodies or some aspect of allergies is reducing tumor risk.”

Results also suggest that women whose blood samples tested positive for specific allergy antibodies had at least a 50 percent lower risk for the most serious  and common type of these brain tumors called glioblastoma but this was not seen in men. However, men who tested positive for both specific antibodies of unknown function had a 20% lower risk of this tumor than men who tested negative.

Blood samples from 594 people diagnosed with glioma (374 of these diagnosed with glioblastoma) between 1974 and 2007 were matched with blood samples by date of sample, age and sex of participant with 1,177 people who were not diagnosed with glioma for comparison and analysis. Further analysis of the samples is planned. More information is available at:

Tags: , , ,

Comments are closed.