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Do allergies lower brain tumour risk?

Do allergies lower brain tumour risk?
6th August 2012

The body of research that suggests allergies have a protective effect against brain tumours is growing.

A recent study at Ohio State University has found that allergies can protect women more than men, although certain allergy profiles give males an edge against tumours more so than women.

However, the reason behind this is still unknown and researchers are baffled as to why the association exists.

Currently, it is understood that glioma tumours have the ability to suppress the immune system and may interfere with the hypersensitive immune response to allergens.

However, the recent study may have shed some light on the complicated relationship.

Dr Judith Schwartzbaum, lead author of the study, commented: "This is our most important finding.  The longer before glioma diagnosis that the effect of allergies is present, the less likely it is that the tumour is suppressing allergies."

This suggests that antibodies or an aspect of an allergy is reducing tumour risk.

However, more research into the association is needed before any treatment pathways can be identified.

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