Timeline of brain cancer

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The content on this page is forked from the English Wikipedia page entitled "Timeline of brain cancer". The original page still exists at Timeline of brain cancer. The original content was released under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License (CC-BY-SA), so this page inherits this license.

This is a timeline of brain cancer, describing especially major discoveries, advances in treatment and major organizations.

Big picture

Year/period Key developments
19th century First surgery for a brain tumor is performed in this century.[1]
1920s Electroencephalograms (EEG) in humans develop as a method to record activity in the brain.[2]
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.[3]
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.[3]
1990s Advances in chemotherapy and radiation increases survival for patients. Classification for brain tumors unifies into one universal system.[3]
2000s The Cancer Genome Atlas project launches.[3]
2010s Today, cancer immunotherapy is being actively studied.[4] Primary brain tumors occur in around 250,000 people a year globally, making up less than 2% of cancers.[5] Figures for incidence on brain cancer show predominance in more developed countries.[6]

Numerical and visual data

Google Scholar

The following table summarizes per-year mentions on Google Scholar as of May 20, 2021.

Year Brain cancer Brain cancer immunotherapy Brain cancer radiotherapy Brain cancer glioblastoma Brain tumor Malignant brain tumor
1980 7,680 285 883 284 5,860 3,010
1985 11,000 285 1,290 435 8,810 4,480
1990 16,200 511 1,830 807 12,500 6,160
1995 29,400 831 2,640 1,540 20,400 8,340
2000 70,900 1,910 4,390 2,820 45,900 13,900
2002 86,500 2,300 5,220 3,220 57,900 16,000
2004 108,000 3,210 7,390 4,230 72,100 19,800
2006 131,000 3,830 9,200 5,920 87,500 23,200
2008 155,000 4,950 11,300 6,800 98,700 27,400
2010 189,000 5,850 13,100 9,560 119,000 32,200
2012 235,000 7,700 18,200 13,100 139,000 42,200
2014 227,000 9,340 21,100 15,800 137,000 45,700
2016 182,000 11,900 23,200 18,000 123,000 47,700
2017 169,000 14,200 24,900 19,900 103,000 48,500
2018 134,000 16,400 26,400 21,500 94,200 47,100
2019 94,900 19,800 27,200 23,700 71,600 45,500
2020 78,500 25,400 25,900 26,100 58,500 41,100
Brain cancer tb.png

Google Trends

The comparative chart below shows Google Trends data Brain cancer (search term, topic and Disease or medical condition) from January 2004 to January 2021, when the screenshot was taken.[7]

Brain cancer gt.jpeg

Google Ngram Viewer

The chart below shows Google Ngram Viewer data for Brain cancer from 1700 to 2019.[8]

Brain cancer ngram.jpeg

Wikipedia views

The chart below shows Wikipedia views of the article brain cancer on desktop from December 2007, and on mobile-web, desktop-spider, mobile-web-spider and mobile app, from June 2015; to January 2021.

Brain cancer wv.jpeg

Full timeline

Year/period Type of event Event Location
1879 Achievement Scottish surgeon William Macewen performs the first successful brain tumor removal in a young woman.[1]
1904 Development Medulloepithelioma (a rare brain tumor thought to stem from cells of the embryonic medullary cavity) is first described by Frederick Verhoeff.[9]
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.[10]
1908 Development Subependymal giant cell astrocytoma (a low-grade astrocytic brain tumor) is first described.[11]
1918 Development Pilocytic astrocytoma (a brain tumor that occurs more often in children and young adults) is first described.[12]
1920 Development Lhermitte–Duclos disease (rare tumor of the cerebellum) is first described by French neurologist Jacques Jean Lhermitte and P. Duclos.[13]
1925 Development Medulloblastoma (the most common type of pediatric malignant primary brain tumor) is first described.[14]
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).[15]
1930 Development Astroblastoma, a rare glial tumor, is first described.[16]
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.[2]
1936 Development Optic nerve sheath meningioma (a rare benign tumor of the optic nerve), is first described.[17]
1938 Gliomatosis cerebri (a rare primary brain tumor) is first described.[18]
1942 Development Hemangiopericytoma (a tumor located in the cerebral cavity) is first characterized.[19]
1945 Development Subependymoma (a rare form of ependymal tumor) is first described.[20]
1955 Development Choroid plexus papilloma (a rare benign neuroepithelial intraventricular WHO grade I lesion found in the choroid plexus) is first reported.[21]
1958 Treatment Dexamethasone is first synthesized. To date it remains the most favorable drug for brain cancer patients.[22]
1971 Development Trilateral retinoblastoma (a malignant midline primitive neuroectodermal tumor occurring in patients with retinoblastoma) is first described.[23]
1971 Development British company EMI develops CT scanner that provides pictures of patients brains to be seen for the first time.[24] 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.[25] 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.[3]
1978 Development Researchers at EMI Laboratories obtain the first Magnetic resonance imaging (MR) of a human brain.[26] UK
1979 Development Pleomorphic Xanthoastrocytoma (a rare tumor located throughout the supratentorial compartment in the brain) is first described.[16]
1982 Development Central neurocytoma (an extremely rare, ordinarily benign intraventricular brain tumor), is first described.[27]
1988 Organization The Children's Brain Tumor Foundation is established. It funds research in brain cancer.[28][29] 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.[3]
1993 Development World Health Organization develops universal system for classifying brain tumors with aims at improving communication and translate research findings.[3]
1994 Development The first study of the human brain at 3.0 T is published.[30]
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.[3] United States
1996 Discovery Researchers at University of Washington find that brain cancer is related to low levels of protein MGMT.[31] United States
1996 Development Giant cell ependymoma (an uncommon neuroepithelial tumor located in the central nervous system) is first described.[32]
1997 Development Researchers at Washington University first develop susceptibility weighted imaging, which can help determine the status of a tumor in the brain.[33] US
1997 Treatment British doctors make use of first laser system to treat brain tumors by destroying cancerous tissue.[34] UK
1998 Development The first study of the human brain at 8 T is published.[35]
1998 Organization The German Brain Tumor Association (Deutsche Hirntumorhilfe) is founded. It supports research especially in the field of neurooncology.[36] Leipzig, Germany
2001 Achievement First successful application of retroviral replicating vectors towards transducing cell lines derived from solid tumors.[37]
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.[38][39] Washington, DC., US
2002 Epidemiology Study reports that brain tumors represent about 1–2 percent of all newly diagnosed tumors, and accounts for about 2 percent of all cancer–related deaths.[40]
2003 Treatment Use of chemotherapy wafer containing carmustine (BCNU) is found to delay tumor growth and improve overall survival in some patients with gliomas.[3]
2004 Treatment International study shows that giving low doses of temozolomide at the start of the treatment proves very effective against brain cancer.[41][42]
2005 Discovery Researchers discover that patients with tumors carrying a specific alteration in a gene MGMT benefit from temozolomide (Temodar) therapy.[3]
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.[3] United States
2005 Development Angiocentric Glioma (a tumor of the central nervous system), is described.[16]
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.[3][43]
2008 Discovery Researchers find that family members of patients with brain cancer, particularly astrocytoma, may inherit a higher risk of the same diagnosis.[44]
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.[3] United States
2008 Treatment FDA approves bevacizumab to treat glioblastoma.[3] 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.[3][45]
2010 Discovery Set of nine genes is found to predict the likelihood that a glioblastoma will respond to therapy.[3]
2013 Development Researchers develop new technique to distinguish tumors from healthy tissue in the brain, using raman scattering microscopy.[46] US
2016 Discovery Study finds that people with higher levels of education may be more likely to develop certain types of brain tumors.[47] Sweden

See also


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  2. 2.0 2.1 "EEG in Brain Tumors". Retrieved 12 September 2016. 
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 "Cancer Progress". Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  4. Bloch, O (2015). "Immunotherapy for malignant gliomas.". Cancer Treatment and Research. 163: 143–58. PMID 25468230. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-12048-5_9. 
  5. World Cancer Report 2014. World Health Organization. 2014. pp. Chapter 5.16. ISBN 9283204298. 
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  7. "Brain cancer". trends.google.com. Retrieved 13 January 2021. 
  8. "Brain cancer". books.google.com. Retrieved 15 January 2021. 
  9. "Intraocular Medulloepithelioma". Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine. 136: 212–216. doi:10.5858/arpa.2010-0669-RS. Retrieved 12 September 2016. 
  10. "Ocular Complications in Neuroblastoma". American Journal of Ophthalmology. 18: 938–943. doi:10.1016/S0002-9394(35)92482-5. 
  11. Tahiri Elousrouti L, Lamchahab M, Bougtoub N, Elfatemi H, Chbani L, Harmouch T, Maaroufi M, Amarti Riffi A (2016). "Subependymal giant cell astrocytoma (SEGA): a case report and review of the literature". J Med Case Rep. 10: 35. PMC 4748639Freely accessible. PMID 26861567. doi:10.1186/s13256-016-0818-6. 
  12. "The lost art of localization: Franc Ingraham's legacy in pediatric neurosurgery". Retrieved 12 September 2016. 
  13. Lhermitte J, Duclos P (1920). "Sur un ganglioneurome diffuse du cortex du cervelet". Bulletin de l'Association Francaise pour l'etude du Cancer. Paris. 9: 99–107. 
  14. Muzumdar D, Deshpande A, Kumar R, Sharma A, Goel N, Dange N, Shah A, Goel A (2011). "Medulloblastoma in childhood-King Edward Memorial hospital surgical experience and review: Comparative analysis of the case series of 365 patients". J Pediatr Neurosci. 6: S78–85. PMC 3208927Freely accessible. PMID 22069434. doi:10.4103/1817-1745.85717. 
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  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 "Unusual Gliomas". Retrieved 12 September 2016. 
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  23. "Molecular Genetics of Supratentorial Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumors and Pineoblastoma". Retrieved 12 September 2016. 
  24. "EMI CT brain scanner, England, 1970-1971". Retrieved 29 August 2016. 
  25. "American Brain Tumor Association". Retrieved 31 August 2016. 
  26. "Britain's brains produce first NMR scans". New Scientist: 588. 1978. 
  27. Hassoun, J.; Gambarelli, D.; Grisoli, F.; Pellet, W.; Salamon, G.; Pellissier, JF.; Toga, M. (1982). "Central neurocytoma. An electron-microscopic study of two cases.". Acta Neuropathol. 56 (2): 151–6. PMID 7064664. doi:10.1007/bf00690587. 
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  30. Mansfield P, Coxon R, Glover P (May 1994). "Echo-planar imaging of the brain at 3.0: first normal volunteer results.". J Comput Assist Tomogr. 18 (3): 339–43. PMID 8188896. doi:10.1097/00004728-199405000-00001. 
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  46. "Laser imaging spots brain cancer". Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
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Category:Brain tumor Category:Health-related timelines