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HRAS rare alleles have been associated with the increased susceptibility to a variety of cancers. In the present study we examined the hypothesis that HRAS rare alleles are a risk factor for adult glioma in a population-based case-control study of adult glioma in six San Francisco Bay Area counties. We compared the prevalence of rare alleles in the variable number of tandem repeats region of HRAS in the germline DNA from 73 white adults who had gliomas with that of 65 controls. Overall, the prevalence of rare alleles in cases was not different from the prevalence of those in controls according to two definitions of rare alleles. We found that 25 of 73 (34%) of cases versus 25 of 65 (38%) of controls had at least one allele that was not 30, 46, 69, or 87 repeats; 4 of 73 (5%) of cases versus 6 of 65 (9%) of controls carried one or more alleles with 33, 39, 42, 53, 59, 63, 68, 105, or 114 repeats. The proportion of rare alleles was somewhat higher among subjects with anaplastic astrocytoma. Among women, cases were less likely than controls to have HRAS rare alleles, whereas among men, cases were slightly more likely to have HRAS rare alleles, but none of these results approach statistical significance. Our data do not suggest an excess of HRAS rare alleles among adult glioma cases.