Brain tumors seemed to have increased in incidence over the past 30 years, but the rise probably results from use of new neuroimaging techniques. Treatments have not improved prognosis for rapidly fatal brain tumors. Established brain tumor risk factors (exposure to ionizing radiation, rare mutations of penetrant genes, and familial history) explain only a small proportion of brain tumors, and only one of these potentially is modifiable. Genetic and environmental characteristics likely play a role in familial aggregation of glioma and these factors are not identified. New concepts in brain tumor etiology and clinical management are the goal of research, with an aim at eradicating this devastating disease.