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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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What causes pineoblastoma?

Because pineoblastomas are quite rare, the exact cause of these tumors is not yet known.  Most are thought to occur by chance (sporadic cancer).  However, there is some evidence that a small proportion of pineoblastomas may be caused by an inherited predisposition, meaning that changes (mutations) in a gene inherited from a parent may increase the chance that a pineoblastoma could develop.[1]  Mutations in the RB1 gene are known to cause an increased risk for pineoblastoma.[2]
Last updated: 12/15/2011

  1. Li MH, Bouffet E, Hawkins CE, Squire JA, Huang A. Molecular genetics of supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumors and pineoblastoma. Neurosurgical Focus. 2005; 19:E3. Accessed 12/12/2011.
  2. Wong FL, Boice JD Jr, Abramson DH, Tarone RE, Kleinerman RA, Stovall M, Goldman MB, Seddon JM, Tarbell N, Fraumeni JF Jr, Li FP. Cancer incidence after retinoblastoma. Radiation dose and sarcoma risk. JAMA. 1997; 278:1262-1267. Accessed 12/12/2011.