CURRY COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – The Air Force is looking into cases of a rare type of pediatric brain cancer, called Diffuse Midline Glioma/Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DMG/DIPG), at Cannon Air Force Base.
There have been three cases of DMG and DIPG at Cannon AFB since 2010. Since 2010, there was an eight-year period where there have been zero cases, according to a news release from the base’s 27th Special Operations Wing on Oct. 23. Officials did not provide specific dates about when the cases were recorded.
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USAFSAM’s study has found that of the DMG/DIPG cases that were diagnosed when the patient’s sponsor was assigned to Cannon AFB, no parallels have been found in factors like sponsor occupation or time on station before diagnosis.
Officials began the investigation in January 2023. This study will examine the history of DMG and DIPG at Cannon Air Force Base and determine if there is a cluster of pediatric cancer at higher rates than the national average, according to the news release.
The team is collecting and reviewing data regarding the cases of pediatric brain cancer from Cannon AFB, the surrounding regional area, other Active Duty Department of the Air Force locations, and the civilian population.
The United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine (USAFSAM) is working with the Brain Tumor Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and the New Mexico Department of Health to gather rates of pediatric cancer in the regional area surrounding Cannon AFB.
“Your concerns are our concerns. We appreciate your patience as we continue gathering and assessing data to provide you the most complete information we can. Our number one priority is the health and safety of our Air Commandos and their families, and we take the responsibility to investigate these risks to health very seriously. Our hearts continue to be with the families who have lost loved ones to DMG/DIPG cancer or are currently facing childhood cancer of any kind,” 27th Special Operations Wing Deputy Wing Commander Col. Brent Greer wrote in the news release.
Officials expect to have more data by the end of 2023, according to the news release.