Historically restrained to immune defense against parasite infections, allergic inflammation has been recently rediscovered to protect from a wide array of environmental triggers, such as xenobiotics and carcinogens, which can induce DNA damage and ultimately lead to cancer development. Moreover, cells and mediators typical of allergic responses can importantly modulate the tissue inflammatory milieu, which represents a crucial gatekeeper towards the acquisition of malignancy by cancer cells through immune escape. Numerous studies have described an inverse association between allergies and glioma development. Mast cells, key players of allergic reactions, have been recently found at increased numbers in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common and lethal primary brain tumor, and they have been implicated in GBM pathogenesis. In this review, we summarize epidemiological studies and discuss the main evidence highlighting a potential interplay between allergic responses, and glioma formation and progression. Last, we draw future lines of research for better clarification whether and through which mechanisms allergic inflammation might impact on gliomagenesis. The comprehension of the immune mechanisms favoring or counteracting tumor growth might open the path to novel immunotherapy approaches.
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