ANA Symposium Presenting Treasure Trove of Information

The Acoustic Neuroma Association’s 20th national symposium is off to a blockbuster start at the Cincinnati Hilton Netherland Plaza. Nearly 200 attendees from 30 states are here, and they are getting first-rate information about acoustic neuroma from experts from around the United States.

You can follow the symposium on the Acoustic Neuroma Association’s twitter account @ANAssociation.

Presenters from the UC Brain Tumor Center include John Breneman, MD, David Hom, MD, Jessica Guarnaschelli, MD, Myles Pensak, MD, Ravi Samy, MD, John M. Tew, MD, Philip Theodosopoulos, MD, (below, with colleagues) and Ronald Warnick, MD.

Elizabeth Claus, PhD, MD, of Yale University, presented a fascinating lecture about risk factors and acoustic neuroma. The good news: the rates of acoustic neuroma are not going up at this time. Dr. Claus said upcoming research will involve studying DNA of people who have been diagnosed with acoustic neuroma. The studies will use saliva samples that contain cheek cells, and therefore DNA. Scientists theorize that genetics could make a person more susceptible to an environmental exposure, translating into a risk for acoustic neuroma.

Dr. Claus, below, praised a 2002 law that established a national registry for benign tumors. Previously, physicians had to report only malignant tumors to a national registry. The registry activity was launched in 2004, and in 2010 data began to become available.

Preliminary data, Dr. Claus said, shows that 6 percent of all primary tumors — those that originate in the brain — are acoustic neuromas.

The registry also shows that benign primary tumors outnumber primary malignant tumors.

– Cindy Starr

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