Evidence for familial aggregation of glioma has been documented in both case-control and cohort studies and occurs apart from the well-described rare inherited genetic syndromes involving glioma: neurofibromatosis type 1 and 2, tuberous sclerosis, Turcot's syndrome, and Li-Fraumeni syndrome. Nonsyndromic glioma families have been studied but no genes have been identified in the two published linkage studies of familial glioma probably due to the small number of families. Because glioma is a rare but devastating cancer, and a family history of glioma has been observed in ∼5% of the cases, we initiated an international consortium to identify glioma families not affected by syndromes to better understand the inherited factors related to this disease. The international consortium GLIOGENE is an acronym for "glioma gene" and includes 15 research groups in North America, Europe, and Israel to study familial glioma. The overarching goal is to characterize genes in glioma families using a genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphism approach and conducting linkage analysis to identify new genomic regions or loci that could harbor genes important for gliomagenesis. Here, we review the rationale for studying familial glioma and our proposed strategy for the GLIOGENE study.
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