Chemically Induced Human Gliomas Occurrence of Brain Gliomas in three Matchbox Manufacturers An occupational risk ?
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Very little is known on the aetiology of brain tumours of the glioma group. In most cases encountered in the daily neurosurgical pratice, no particular factor of risk is advocated in view of the past history of patients. The ability of radiotherapy to induce glioblastoma has been established (4). Induction of intra-cranial tumours by inoculation of viruses is supported by several reports (1) and the possibility of a transmission of brain gliomas among a population of non blood relative patients has been recently emphasized (7). Since the pioneering work of Zimmerman using methylcholanthrene (10), many chemicals have been suspected as brain carcinogenic agents. Nitrosourea is routinely used in laboratory to induce brain tumours in rats (5, 6, 8). Acrylonitrile has also experimentally been identified as a brain carcinogen (3). Other substances are regarded as potentially carcinogenic without specificity for the human brain. The role of chemicals is supported by a recent epidemiologic study (9) showing an increased risk for brain tumours in certain occupations. The 3 patients that are the subject of this report were managed at our institution during the 6 past years for brain glioma and had in common the fact that they had been working in a similar workplace in a matchbox factory. This clinical experience suggests an environmental risk factor, possibly occupational.
Key wordsGlioblastoma Brain Glioma Carcinogen Mutagen Occupational cancer
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