Genetic causes for DNET are not yet known. Molecular genetic studies of DNET tissue have shown a loss of heterozygosity 1p/19q in a proportion of tumors studied. There are rare reports of DNET co-occurring with neurofibromatosis type 1 (including a patient with multiple DNETs). There are rare reports of DNET co-occurring in XYY syndrome. It is unknown if these rare reports of co-occurrence are by chance or suggest a genetic cause for DNET.
A family history is not expected due to sporadic occurrence, genetic abnormalities if present, are likely acquired somatic genetic abnormalities, without risk of transmission to offspring.