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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Your Question

I have heard that a doctor suggested genetic testing for children whose father had an oligoastrocytoma.  Is this recommended?  If so, which tests are appropriate?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

Is genetic testing recommended for the children of an individual who has been diagnosed with oligoastrocytoma?

Currently, genetic testing is not automatically indicated for children of an individual who has been diagnosed with an oligoastrocytoma.  The exact cause of oligoastrocytomas is unknown,[1] and no single inherited risk factor has been shown to increase the chance of developing this type of tumor.

In rare cases, a brain tumor may be associated with an inherited genetic risk factor, but this is more likely if there is a family history of multiple cancers in close relatives.[2]  To assess the chance that the cancers in a family are caused by an inherited genetic risk factor, a genetics professional can take a full family history and determine if any genetic testing is appropriate.  If possible, it is most useful for an individual with a personal history of cancer to be tested first.

Genetics clinics are a source of information for individuals and families regarding genetic conditions, treatment, inheritance, and genetic risks to other family members.  More information about genetic consultations is available from Genetics Home Reference at To find a genetics clinic, we recommend that a primary healthcare provider offer a referral.

The following online resources can help locate a local genetics professional:  
Last updated: 5/11/2012