An integrative view on sex differences in brain tumors

Tao Sun, Anya Plutynski, Stacey Ward, Joshua B. Rubin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Sex differences in human health and disease can range from undetectable to profound. Differences in brain tumor rates and outcome are evident in males and females throughout the world and regardless of age. These observations indicate that fundamental aspects of sex determination can impact the biology of brain tumors. It is likely that optimal personalized approaches to the treatment of male and female brain tumor patients will require recognizing and understanding the ways in which the biology of their tumors can differ. It is our view that sex-specific approaches to brain tumor screening and care will be enhanced by rigorously documenting differences in brain tumor rates and outcomes in males and females, and understanding the developmental and evolutionary origins of sex differences. Here we offer such an integrative perspective on brain tumors. It is our intent to encourage the consideration of sex differences in clinical and basic scientific investigations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3323-3342
Number of pages20
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 12 2015


  • Cancer
  • Evolution
  • Immunity
  • Metabolism
  • Sex determination
  • Sexual dimorphism


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