Immune and genetic risk factors in glioma

E Amirian, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Despite extensive research, the etiology of adult glioma remains largely unknown. We sought to further explore the role of immune and genetic factors in glioma etiology using data from the Harris County Brain Tumor Study and the first U.S. genome-wide association study of glioma. First, using a case-control study design, we examined the association between adult glioma risk and surrogates of the timing and frequency of common early childhood infections, birth order and sibship size, respectively. We found that each one-unit increase in birth order was associated with a 12% decreased risk of glioma development in adulthood (OR=0.88, 95% CI=0.81-0.96); however, sibship size was not associated with adult glioma risk (OR=0.96, 95% CI=0.91-1.02). Second, we used a multi-strategic approach to explore the relationships between glioma risk, history of asthma/allergies, and 23 functional SNPs in 11 inflammation genes. We found three inflammation gene SNPs to be significantly associated with glioma risk (COX2/PTGS2 rs20417 [OR=1.41]; IL10 rs1800896 [OR=1.57]; and IL13 rs20541 [OR=0.39]). Joint effects analysis of the risk-conferring alleles of these three SNPs revealed a trend of increasing risk with increasing number of adverse alleles among those without asthma/allergies (p<0.0001). Finally, we conducted a case-only study to explore pairwise SNP-SNP interactions in immune-related pathways among a population of 1304 non-Hispanic white glioma cases. After correction for multiple comparisons, we found 279 significant SNP-SNP interactions among polymorphisms of immune-related genes, many of which have not been previously examined. Our results, cumulatively, suggest an important role for immune and genetic factors in glioma etiology and provide several new hypotheses for future studies.^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Epidemiology

Recommended Citation

Amirian, E, "Immune and genetic risk factors in glioma" (2009). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3349963.