Brain tumors most common cause of cancer deaths in adolescents & young adults in U.S.
Press Release, American Brain Tumor Association, Feb 24, 2016
The 50-page report, which utilized data from the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States (CBTRUS) from 2008-2012, is the first in-depth statistical analysis of brain and central nervous system (CNS) tumors in adolescents and young adults (AYA). Statistics are provided on tumor type, tumor location and age group (15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34 and 35-39) for both malignant and non-malignant brain and CNS tumors.
"When analyzing data in 5-year age increments, researchers discovered that the adolescent and young adult population is not one group but rather several distinct groups that are impacted by very different tumor types as they move into adulthood," said Elizabeth Wilson, president and CEO of the American Brain Tumor Association.
"For these individuals -- who are finishing school, pursuing their careers and starting and raising young families -- a brain tumor diagnosis is especially cruel and disruptive," added Wilson. "This report enables us for the first time to zero-in on the types of tumors occurring at key intervals over a 25-year time span to help guide critical research investments and strategies for living with a brain tumor that reflect the patient's unique needs."
Although brain and CNS tumors are the most common type of cancer among people aged 15-19, the report shows how other cancers become more common with age. By ages 34-39 years, brain and CNS tumors are the third most common cancer after breast and thyroid cancer.
"What's interesting is the wide variability in the types of brain tumors diagnosed within this age group which paints a much different picture than what we see in adults or in pediatric patients," explained the study's senior author Jill Barnholtz-Sloan, Ph.D., associate professor, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Scientific Principal Investigator for CBTRUS.
"For example, the most common tumor types observed in adults are meningiomas and glioblastomas, but there is much more diversity in the common tumor types observed in the adolescent and young adult population. You also clearly see a transition from predominantly non-malignant and low-grade tumors to predominantly high-grade tumors with increasing age," Barnholtz-Sloan said.
There are nearly 700,000 people in the U.S. living with brain and CNS tumors and approximately 15 percent of these tumors occurred in the AYA population during the 2008-2012 time frame analyzed in this report. Approximately 10,617 brain and CNS tumors are diagnosed among adolescents and young adults each year and are the cause of approximately 434 deaths annually.
"The American Brain Tumor Association's recognition of this understudied population, and their commitment to data and information sharing should be applauded," added Barnholtz-Sloan. "There are clearly unique characteristics of the 15-39 age group that we need to more comprehensively understand and the information in the ABTA report starts that important dialogue."
To learn more or access additional statistics, go to http://www.abta.org.
Brain Tumor Statistics
Brain tumors are the:
- most common cancer among those age 0-19 (leukemia is the second).
- second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in children (males and females) under age 20 (leukemia is the first).
- Nearly 78,000 new cases of primary brain tumors are expected to be diagnosed this year. This figure includes nearly 25,000 primary malignant and 53,000 non-malignant brain tumors.
- It is estimated that more than 4,600 children between the ages of 0-19 will be diagnosed with a primary brain tumor this year.
- There are nearly 700,000 people in the U.S. living with a primary brain and central nervous system tumor.
- This year, nearly 17,000 people will lose their battle with a primary malignant and central nervous system brain tumor.
- There are more than 100 histologically distinct types of primary brain and central nervous system tumors.
- Survival after diagnosis with a primary brain tumor varies significantly by age, histology, molecular markers and tumor behavior.
- The median age at diagnosis for all primary brain tumors is 59 years.
- Meningiomas represent 36.4% of all primary brain tumors, making them the most common primary brain tumor. There will be an estimated 24,880 new cases in 2016.
- Gliomas, a broad term which includes all tumors arising from the gluey or supportive tissue of the brain, represent 27% of all brain tumors and 80% of all malignant tumors.
- Glioblastomas represent 15.1% of all primary brain tumors, and 55.1% of all gliomas.
- Glioblastoma has the highest number of cases of all malignant tumors, with an estimated 12,120 new cases predicted in 2016.
- Astrocytomas, including glioblastoma, represent approximately 75% of all gliomas.
- Nerve sheath tumors (such as acoustic neuromas) represent about 8% of all primary brain tumors.
- Pituitary tumors represent 15.5% of all primary brain tumors. There will be an estimated 11,700 new cases of pituitary tumors in 2016.
- Lymphomas represent 2% of all primary brain tumors.
- Oligodendrogliomas represent nearly 2% of all primary brain tumors.
primitive tumors represent 1% of all primary brain tumors.
- The majority of primary tumors (36.4%) are located within the meninges.
Ostrom QT, Gittleman H, de Blank PM, Finlay JL, Gurney JG, McKean-Cowdin R, Stearns DS, Wolff JE, Liu M, Wolinsky Y, Kruchko C, Barnholtz-Sloan JS. American Brain Tumor Association Adolescent and Young Adult Primary Brain and Central Nervous System Tumors Diagnosed in the United States in 2008-2012. Neuro Oncol. 2016 Jan;18 Suppl 1:i1-i50. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/nov297.
Malignant brain and CNS are the 11th most common cancer and the 3rd most common cause of cancer death.
Approximately 10,600 brain and CNS tumors are diagnosed in AYA per year, and they are the cause of approximately 450 deaths annually in this age group.
Overall, the largest proportion of malignant tumors in those age 15-39 years occur in the frontal lobe (28.8%), followed by other brain (15.4%). Together, 50.2% of all malignant tumors occur in the frontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital lobes of the brain.
Tumors of the frontal lobe are the most common in persons age 20-39 years.
Overall, the largest proportion of non-malignant tumors occurs in the pituitary gland and craniopharyngeal duct (46.1%).
The incidence of tumors in the pituitary gland and craniopharyngeal duct decrease with age whereas incidence of those found in the meninges increase with age.
Overall, the incidence of primary brain and CNS tumors in females (12.24 per 100,000 population) is higher than those in males (8.64 per 100,000 population) in AYA.
Brain Cancers Both Common and Deadly Among Teens, Young Adults: Report
Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., Director
Center for Family and Community Health
School of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley
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