In one of the largest studies to date, an international consortium of researchers has found that having chicken pox may reduce the risk of developing glioma, a type of brain cancer. The study, led by researchers in the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine, published their results in the journal Cancer Medicine.

The Baylor team, led by Dr. Melissa Bondy a McNair Scholar and associate director for cancer prevention and population sciences at Baylor, and Dr. E. Susan Amirian, assistant professor in the Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor, reviewed information from the Glioma International Case-Control Study and had access to data on 4533 cases (from five countries).

What they found was a 21 percent reduced risk of developing glioma with a positive history of chickenpox. And, they found that the “protective effective” was greater in higher grade gliomas. Dr. Bondy says having chicken pox seems to be beneficial, “The link is unlikely to be coincidental.”

We look forward to more studies proving that a healthy body is able to- and needs to- weather the viral and bacterial storms of life, in order to operate most effectively (and protectively).

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