Is sunlight an aetiological agent in the genesis of retinoblastoma?

Department of Pathology, Molecular Medicine Centre, University of Edinburgh, Western General Hospital, UK.
British Journal of Cancer (Impact Factor: 5.08). 04/1999; 79(7-8):1273-6. DOI: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6690204
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The incidence of unilateral, but not bilateral, retinoblastoma in human populations at different geographical locations increases significantly with ambient erythemal dose of ultraviolet B radiation from sunlight. This supports the hypothesis that sunlight plays a role in retinoblastoma formation.

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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Studies have shown that higher UV radiation exposure (UVR) may be related to lower risk of some cancers in adults. Recently an ecological study reported lower risks of some cancers among children living in higher UVR cities and countries. In a large population-based case-control study in California we tested the hypothesis that specific childhood cancers may be influenced by UVR. METHODS: Cancers in children ages 0 to 5 years were identified from California Cancer Registry records for 1986-2007 and linked to birth certificate data. Controls - frequency matched by year of birth - were sampled from the birth certificates at a ratio of 20:1. Based on the birth address, we assigned UVR exposure in units of Watt-hours/m2 to subjects using a geostatistical exposure model developed with data from the National Solar Radiation Database. RESULTS: For cases with UVR exposure of 5111 Watt-hrs/m2 or above we estimated a reduction in odds of developing acute lymphoblastic leukemia (OR: 0.89, 95% CI:0.81, 0.99), hepatoblastoma (OR: 0.69, 95% CI: 0.48, 1.00), and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (OR: 0.71, 95% CI: 0.50, 1.02) adjusting for mother's age, mother's race and child's year of birth. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that UVR during pregnancy may decrease the odds of some childhood cancers. Future studies should explore additional factors that may be correlated with UVR exposure, investigate trimester-specific effects and possibly include biomarkers of immune function and vitamin D to investigate possible pathways for the observed associations. Impact: This study shows protective associations of UVR and some childhood cancers.
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    ABSTRACT: Exposure to air pollution during pregnancy has been linked to the risk of childhood cancer, but the evidence remains inconclusive. In the present study, we used land use regression modeling to estimate prenatal exposures to traffic exhaust and evaluate the associations with cancer risk in very young children. Participants in the Air Pollution and Childhood Cancers Study who were 5 years of age or younger and diagnosed with cancer between 1988 and 2008 were had their records linked to California birth certificates, and controls were selected from birth certificates. Land use regression-based estimates of exposures to nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, and nitrogen oxides were assigned based on birthplace residence and temporally adjusted using routine monitoring station data to evaluate air pollution exposures during specific pregnancy periods. Logistic regression models were adjusted for maternal age, race/ethnicity, educational level, parity, insurance type, and Census-based socioeconomic status, as well as child's sex and birth year. The odds of acute lymphoblastic leukemia increased by 9%, 23%, and 8% for each 25-ppb increase in average nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, and nitrogen oxide levels, respectively, over the entire pregnancy. Second- and third-trimester exposures increased the odds of bilateral retinoblastoma. No associations were found for annual average exposures without temporal components or for any other cancer type. These results lend support to a link between prenatal exposure to traffic exhaust and the risk of acute lymphoblastic leukemia and bilateral retinoblastoma.
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