Timeline of brain cancer
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This is a timeline of brain cancer, describing especially major discoveries, advances in treatment and major organizations.
|19th century||First successful brain tumor removal surgery documented as performed in 1879.|
|1920s||Electroencephalograms (EEG) in humans develop as a method to record activity in the brain.|
|1970s||Computed tomography (CT) scanning is developed and provides first clear image of brain tumors. First promising chemotherapy for glioma is developed. Radiation is established as standard treatment for glioblastoma.|
|1980s||Magnetic resonance imaging is introduced and gains widespread use. It eventually replaces CT scanning as the primary imaging tool for brain tumors. Gamma knife therapy is introduced for treating brain tumors.|
|1990s||Advances in chemotherapy and radiation increases survival for patients. Classification for brain tumors unifies into one universal system.|
|2000s||The Cancer Genome Atlas project launches.|
|2010s||Today, cancer immunotherapy is being actively studied. Primary brain tumors occur in around 250,000 people a year globally, making up less than 2% of cancers. Figures for incidence on brain cancer show predominance in more developed countries.|
|Year/period||Type of event||Event||Location|
|1879||Achievement||Scottish surgeon William Macewen performs the first successful brain tumor removal in a young woman.|
|1904||Development||Medulloepithelioma (a rare brain tumor thought to stem from cells of the embryonic medullary cavity) is first described by Frederick Verhoeff.|
|1907||Development||First description of the clinical syndrome of neuroblastoma of the adrenals by English surgeon Jonathan Hutchinson. However, the pathologic interpretation of the disease is not established until several years later.|
|1908||Development||Subependymal giant cell astrocytoma (a low-grade astrocytic brain tumor) is first described.|
|1918||Development||Pilocytic astrocytoma (a brain tumor that occurs more often in children and young adults) is first described.|
|1920||Development||Lhermitte–Duclos disease (rare tumor of the cerebellum) is first described by French neurologist Jacques Jean Lhermitte and P. Duclos.|
|1925||Development||Medulloblastoma (the most common type of pediatric malignant primary brain tumor) is first described.|
|1926||Development||Percival Bailey and Harvey Cushing introduce the term glioblastoma multiforme, based on the idea that the tumor originates from primitive precursors of glial cells (glioblasts), and the highly variable appearance due to the presence of necrosis, hemorrhage and cysts (multiform).|
|1930||Development||Astroblastoma, a rare glial tumor, is first described.|
|1936||Development||American neurophysiologist William Grey Walter first identifies the association between localized slow waves on electroencephalograms and tumors of the cerebral hemispheres. The term "delta waves" is introduced by Walter.|
|1936||Development||Optic nerve sheath meningioma (a rare benign tumor of the optic nerve), is first described.|
|1938||Gliomatosis cerebri (a rare primary brain tumor) is first described.|
|1942||Development||Hemangiopericytoma (a tumor located in the cerebral cavity) is first characterized.|
|1945||Development||Subependymoma (a rare form of ependymal tumor) is first described.|
|1955||Development||Choroid plexus papilloma (a rare benign neuroepithelial intraventricular WHO grade I lesion found in the choroid plexus) is first reported.|
|1958||Treatment||Dexamethasone is first synthesized. To date it remains the most favorable drug for brain cancer patients.|
|1971||Development||Trilateral retinoblastoma (a malignant midline primitive neuroectodermal tumor occurring in patients with retinoblastoma) is first described.|
|1971||Development||British company EMI develops CT scanner that provides pictures of patients brains to be seen for the first time.||UK|
|1973||Organization||American Brain Tumor Association is founded as a nonprofit organization. It provides support services and programs to brain tumor patients and their families, and funds brain tumor research.||Chicago, Illinois, US|
|1975||Treatment||Radiation therapy becomes standard treatment for glioblastoma, showing it extends median survival from 3 months to about 9 months in patients.|
|1978||Development||Researchers at EMI Laboratories obtain the first Magnetic resonance imaging (MR) of a human brain.||UK|
|1979||Development||Pleomorphic Xanthoastrocytoma (a rare tumor located throughout the supratentorial compartment in the brain) is first described.|
|1982||Development||Central neurocytoma (an extremely rare, ordinarily benign intraventricular brain tumour), is first described.|
|1988||Organization||The Children's Brain Tumor Foundation is established. It funds research in brain cancer.||New York City, US|
|1993||Discovery||Large analysis shows that adding chemotherapy to radiation therapy helps patients with surgically treated malignant gliomas live longer compared to radiation therapy alone.|
|1993||Development||World Health Organization develops universal system for classifying brain tumors with aims at improving communication and translate research findings.|
|1994||Development||The first study of the human brain at 3.0 T is published.|
|1994||Development||US National Cancer Institute establishes brain tumor research networks for adults and children, comprising brain cancer experts from academic centers who collaborate to evaluate novel therapies against brain cancer.||United States|
|1996||Discovery||Researchers at University of Washington find that brain cancer is related to low levels of protein MGMT.||United States|
|1996||Development||Giant cell ependymoma (an uncommon neuroepithelial tumor located in the central nervous system) is first described.|
|1997||Development||Researchers at Washington University first develop susceptibility weighted imaging, which can help determine the status of a tumor in the brain.||US|
|1997||Treatment||British doctors make use of first laser system to treat brain tumors by destroying cancerous tissue.||UK|
|1998||Development||The first study of the human brain at 8 T is published.|
|1998||Organization||The German Brain Tumor Association (Deutsche Hirntumorhilfe) is founded. It supports research especially in the field of neurooncology.||Leipzig, Germany|
|2001||Achievement||First successful application of retroviral replicating vectors towards transducing cell lines derived from solid tumors.|
|2001||Organization||Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure is founded as a nonprofit organization. It awards grants to leading brain cancer researchers and partners with the medical, academic, business, and government sectors.||Washington, DC., US|
|2003||Treatment||Use of chemotherapy wafer containing carmustine (BCNU) is found to delay tumor growth and improve overall survival in some patients with gliomas.|
|2004||Treatment||International study shows that giving low doses of temozolomide at the start of the treatment proves very effective against brain cancer.|
|2005||Discovery||Researchers discover that patients with tumors carrying a specific alteration in a gene MGMT benefit from temozolomide (Temodar) therapy.|
|2005||Study||US National Cancer Institute and US National Genome Research Institute launch The Cancer Genome Atlas Project, with the goal of mapping the genetic changes involved in glioblastoma and other cancers.||United States|
|2005||Development||Angiocentric Glioma (a tumor of the central nervous system), is described.|
|2006||Discovery||Researchers discover distinct subtypes of astrocytoma tumors, each one with unique biological features that appear to influence the tumor's behavior and response to certain therapies.|
|2008||Discovery||Researchers find that family members of patients with brain cancer, particularly astrocytoma, may inherit a higher risk of the same diagnosis.|
|2008||Discovery||The Cancer Genome Atlas Project reports the identification of several key mutations in the ERBB2, NF1 and TP53 genes, that are involved in triggering the development and spread of glioblastoma.||United States|
|2008||Treatment||FDA approves bevacizumab to treat glioblastoma.||United States|
|2009||Discovery||Researchers discover that tumors with an alteration in the IDH1 or IDH2 genes are less aggressive than those without the mutation. This finding would eventually enable some patients to safely undergo less intense therapy.|
|2010||Discovery||Set of nine genes is found to predict the likelihood that a glioblastoma will respond to therapy.|
|2013||Development||Researchers develop new technique to distinguish tumors from healthy tissue in the brain, using raman scattering microscopy.||US|
|2016||Discovery||Study finds that people with higher levels of education may be more likely to develop certain types of brain tumors.||Sweden|
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