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Neuro Oncol. 2018 Aug 2;20(9):1225-1230. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/noy043.

Does risk of brain cancer increase with intracranial volume? A population-based case control study.

Author information

1
Department of Neurosurgery, St Olavs Hospital, Trondheim University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway.
2
Department of Neuromedicine and Movement Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.
3
Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, St Olavs Hospital, Trondheim University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway.
4
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, University of Gothenburg, Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg, Sweden.
5
Department of Neurosurgery, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.
6
Unit for Applied Clinical Research, Department of Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.
7
National Competence Centre for Ultrasound and Image Guided Surgery, St Olavs Hospital, Trondheim University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway.

Abstract

Background:

Glioma is the most common primary brain tumor and is believed to arise from glial stem cells. Despite large efforts, there are limited established risk factors. It has been suggested that tissue with more stem cell divisions may exhibit higher risk of cancer due to chance alone. Assuming a positive correlation between the number of stem cell divisions in an organ and size of the same organ, we hypothesized that variation in intracranial volume, as a proxy for brain size, may be linked to risk of high-grade glioma.

Methods:

Intracranial volume was calculated from pretreatment 3D T1-weighted MRI brain scans from 124 patients with high-grade glioma and 995 general population-based controls. Binomial logistic regression analyses were performed to ascertain the effect of intracranial volume and sex on the likelihood that participants had high-grade glioma.

Results:

An increase in intracranial volume of 100 mL was associated with an odds ratio of high-grade glioma of 1.69 (95% CI: 1.44‒1.98; P < 0.001). After adjusting for intracranial volume, female sex emerged as a risk factor for high-grade glioma (odds ratio for male sex = 0.56, 95% CI: 0.33‒0.93; P = 0.026).

Conclusions:

Intracranial volume is strongly associated with risk of high-grade glioma. After correcting for intracranial volume, risk of high-grade glioma was higher in women. The development of glioma is correlated to brain size and may to a large extent be a stochastic event related to the number of cells at risk.

PMID:
29554311
PMCID:
PMC6071652
DOI:
10.1093/neuonc/noy043

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