[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A proportion of classical Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is believed to be causally related to infection with the ubiquitous lymphotropic EBV. The determining factors for development of EBV-related HL remain poorly understood, but likely involve immunological control of the viral infection. Accordingly, markers of the HLA class I region have been associated with risk of EBV-related HL. To study the host genetic component of EBV-related HL further, we investigated the lymphoma's association with HLA-A*01 and HLA-A*02 simultaneously in the setting of infectious mononucleosis (IM), a risk factor for EBV-related HL, in a case-series analysis including 278 EBV-related and 656 EBV-unrelated cases of HL. By logistic regression, HLA-A*01 alleles [odds ratio (OR) per allele, 2.15; 95% CI, 1.60-2.88] were associated with increased and HLA-A*02 alleles (OR per allele, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.51-0.97) with decreased risk of EBV-related HL. These allele-specific associations corresponded to nearly 10-fold variation in risk of EBV-related HL between HLA-A*01 and HLA-A*02 homozygotes. History of IM was also associated with risk of EBV-related HL (OR, 3.40; 95% CI, 1.74-6.66). The association between history of IM and EBV-related HL was not seen in the presence of HLA-A*02 because this allele appeared to neutralize the effect of IM on EBV-related HL risk. Our findings suggest that HLA class I-restricted EBV-specific cytotoxic T-cell responses and events in the early immune response to EBV infection in IM play critical roles in the pathogenesis of EBV-related HL.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2010; 107(14):6400-5. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The descriptive epidemiology of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) (1984–1988) in parts of England and Wales is described by low grade (LG) and high grade (HG) subtypes. Major differences in age specific incidence are evident particularly in those under 35 years where LG-NHL is virtually absent in childhood and rare in young adulthood. Over the 5 year period of registration of cases significant increases in incidence were noted for males with both HG and LG disease.
The geographical analyses demonstrate clear epidemiological differences between LG-NHL and HG-NHL. The SMRs for 22 English and Welsh counties are not correlated for LG and HG-NHL disease, whose distributions are significantly different. Regression analyses at the electoral ward level show a strong association between LG-NHL and high-socio economic status and there is a weaker link between HG-NHL and residence in an urban area. Formal comparison of LG and HG-NHL shows significant differences for the effect of socio-economic grouping but not for urban-rural status.
There is strong evidence to show that major differences exist in patterns of LG and HG-NHL for age specific incidence, geographical distribution and area risk factors. Interpretation of these epidemiological features are highly suggestive of differing aetiologies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Between 1980 and 1986 a case control study of leukaemias aid lymphomas in Yorkshire conducted face to face interviews on 1362 cases and 2442 age and sex matched hospital controls. Case diagnoses were histopathologically confirmed and grouped into non-Hodgkin's lymphomma (NHL), Hodgkin's Disease (HD), malignant lymphocytic lymphoma (MLL.), chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) and acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). Multivariate analyses were completed on each separate disease to evaluate risk factors relating to past medical history, occupation, environmental exposures and social contact variables. The results show a significant association (with OR adjusted for other risk factors) between a family history of leukaemia/lymphoma and HD (OR = 4.29), NHL (OR = 1.98) and AML (OR = 6.36). For HD other cancers in the family also conveyed a significant risk (OR = 1.61). Use of heart drugs l(and heart disease) was linked to the chronic leukaemias (CML, CLL). A previous cancer and NHL, CLL and AML were associated even after adjustment for radiotherapy. A complex set of risk factors including prior skin lesions and steroid use showed significant links with HD, NHL and CLL., Increasing risk of NHL was linked to small family size. A significant excess of NHL cases reported exposure to glues and similarly ALL cases with agricultural chemical exposure. There present data provide both confirmatory and novel results. Overall they concur with the hypothesis of a multifactoral aetiology encompassing both genetic and immunological components.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aetiology of childhood cancer is poorly understood. Both genetic and environmental factors are likely to be involved. The presence of spatial clustering is indicative of a very localized environmental component to aetiology. Spatial clustering is present when there are a small number of areas with greatly increased incidence or a large number of areas with moderately increased incidence. To determine whether localized environmental factors may play a part in childhood cancer aetiology, we analyzed for spatial clustering using a large set of national population-based data from Great Britain diagnosed 1969-1993. The Potthoff-Whittinghill method was used to test for extra-Poisson variation (EPV). Thirty-two thousand three hundred and twenty-three cases were allocated to 10,444 wards using diagnosis addresses. Analyses showed statistically significant evidence of clustering for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) over the whole age range (estimate of EPV = 0.05, p = 0.002) and for ages 1-4 years (estimate of EPV = 0.03, p = 0.015). Soft-tissue sarcoma (estimate of EPV = 0.03, p = 0.04) and Wilms tumours (estimate of EPV = 0.04, p = 0.007) also showed significant clustering. Clustering tended to persist across different time periods for cases of ALL (estimate of between-time period EPV = 0.04, p =0.003). In conclusion, we observed low level spatial clustering that is attributable to a limited number of cases. This suggests that environmental factors, which in some locations display localized clustering, may be important aetiological agents in these diseases. For ALL and soft tissue sarcoma, but not Wilms tumour, common infectious agents may be likely candidates.
International Journal of Cancer 10/2008; 124(4):932-6. · 6.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A proportion of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) cases are causally associated with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) but the aetiology of the remaining cases remains obscure. Over the last 3 decades several studies have found an association between HL and measles virus (MV) including a recent cohort study describing the detection of MV antigens in Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg cells, the tumour cells in HL. In the present study we looked at the relationship between history of MV infection and risk of developing HL in a population-based, case/control study of HL. In addition we used immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR to look for direct evidence of MV in HL biopsies. There was no significant difference in the proportion of cases reporting previous measles compared to controls in the entire data set or when young adults were considered separately. Using a robust immunohistochemical assay for MV infection, we failed to find evidence of MV in biopsies from 97 cases of HL and RT-PCR studies similarly gave negative results. This study therefore provides no evidence that MV is directly involved in the development of HL. However, when age at first reported MV infection was investigated, significant differences emerged with children infected before school-age having higher risk, especially of EBV-ve HL, when compared with children infected at older ages; the interpretation of these latter results is unclear.
International Journal of Cancer 07/2007; 121(2):442-7. · 6.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Maternal smoking during pregnancy inhibits fetal growth, and is a major cause of childhood and adult morbidity, including increased risks of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. However, the use of birthweight as a proxy for future smoking-related morbidity is hindered by its wide variability, suggesting a role for other birthweight-modifying factors. We report here, for the first time, that interactions between specific fetal HLA-DQA1 and DQB1 alleles and maternal smoking can influence birthweight. We compared mean birthweights of a series of term, HLA-DQ typed white UK newborns (n = 552) whose mothers had either smoked (n = 211) or not smoked (n = 341) during pregnancy. Maternal smoking during pregnancy resulted in an average birthweight reduction of 244 g, but the combined effects of maternal smoking and fetal DQA1*0101 or DQB1*0501 alleles resulted in a 230 and 240 g further reduction in mean birthweight, respectively, resulting from interactions between smoking and these DQ types. Other fetal DQ allele-specific interactions with maternal smoking are suggested by a "protective" effect on smoking-associated birthweight reduction in newborns typing for DQA1*0201 and DQB1*0201. Our results suggest biological interactions between maternal cigarette smoking during pregnancy and specific fetal DQ alleles that affect fetal growth. The precise nature of these interactions merits further investigation, as knowledge of fetal HLA-DQ type may be useful in refining risk estimates of severe fetal growth restriction because of maternal smoking during pregnancy.
Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology 10/2006; 20(5):438-48. · 2.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous studies have provided evidence that infections may play a part in the aetiology of certain childhood cancers. The finding of space-time clustering indicates the presence of an environmental component to aetiology and is especially supportive of a role for infections. Space-time clustering occurs when excess numbers of cases of a disease are observed within small geographical locations at limited periods of time and this cannot be explained in terms of general excesses in those locations or at those times. To investigate whether infections may be involved in the aetiology of childhood cancer, we have analysed for space-time clustering using a large set of national population-based data from Great Britain for the period 1969-1993. Data were examined by a second-order procedure based on K-functions, with fixed thresholds of closeness in space (0.5-7.5 km) and closeness in time (0.1-1.5 years). Locations were addresses at diagnosis. Tests were repeated, replacing geographical distances with distances to the 19th-33rd nearest neighbours and this provided the primary result for each analysis. There were a total of 32,295 cases of childhood cancer. The analyses showed statistically significant evidence of space-time clustering for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia over the whole age range (p = 0.04), but especially for ages 1-4 years (p = 0.03). There was less statistically significant evidence for total leukaemia (p = 0.048). Significant space-time clustering was also evident for soft tissue sarcomas (p = 0.03) and osteosarcomas (p = 0.02). Results support other evidence suggesting a role for infections in the aetiology of these particular diagnostic groups.
International Journal of Cancer 07/2006; 118(11):2840-6. · 6.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously demonstrated significant space-time clustering amongst cases of childhood leukaemia (in particular acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL)), central nervous system (CNS) tumour (especially astrocytoma), soft tissue sarcoma and Wilms' tumour. We hypothesised that there may be common aetiological mechanisms between some of these diagnostic groups. To test this hypothesis we analysed for cross-space-time clustering between these diagnostic groups, using population-based data from north-west England. Data were examined by a second-order procedure based on K-functions. Reference points in time and space were dates and addresses at birth and diagnosis. The results showed statistically significant (P < 0.05) cross-clustering between cases of leukaemia and CNS tumour and between cases of ALL and astrocytoma. There was no statistically significant cross-clustering of Wilms' tumours and soft tissue sarcomas with any other malignancy. In conclusion, these findings are consistent with common, possibly infectious, aetiological mechanisms for childhood leukaemia (particularly ALL) and CNS tumours (particularly astrocytoma).
European Journal of Cancer 12/2005; 41(18):2911-6. · 5.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The association between tumor Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) status and clinical outcome in Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is controversial. This population-based study assessed the impact of EBV status on survival in age-stratified cohorts of adults with classic HL (cHL). Data from 437 cases were analyzed with a median follow-up of 93 months. Overall survival (OS) was significantly better for EBV-negative compared with EBV-positive patients (P < .001), with 5-year survival rates of 81% and 66%, respectively; disease-specific survival (DSS) was also greater for EBV-negative patients (P = .03). The impact of EBV status varied with age at diagnosis. In patients aged 16 to 34 years, EBV-associated cases had a survival advantage compared with EBV-negative cases, but differences were not statistically significant (P = .21). Among patients 50 years or older, EBV positivity was associated with a significantly poorer outcome (P = .003). Excess deaths occurred in EBV-positive patients with both early- and advanced-stage disease. In multivariate analysis of OS in the older patients, EBV status retained statistical significance after adjusting for the effects of sex, stage, and B symptoms (P = .01). Impaired immune status may contribute to the development of EBV-positive cHL in older patients, and strategies aimed at boosting the immune response should be investigated in the treatment of these patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Somatic inactivation of NFKBIA, the gene encoding IkappaBalpha, is a frequent occurrence in the malignant Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cells of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). Impairment of IkappaBalpha function results in deregulated NF-kappaB activity, a characteristic of HRS cells. The molecular basis for familial HL, which accounts for approximately 4% of all HL cases, is unclear. To date, familial HL cases have not been evaluated for germline NFKBIA mutations. We screened the entire NFKBIA gene in 8 individuals with familial HL but found no mutations in the coding region or promoter sequences. We identified the first germline NFKBIA missense mutation in a patient with presumed sporadic HL. The frequency of 4 polymorphisms within the NFKBIA gene and promoter region was investigated in a series of HL and control samples; no significant differences emerged but a novel polymorphism was identified in the promoter region. Overall, our results suggest that germline mutations of NFKBIA are not a significant cause of familial aggregation of HL but may contribute to inherited susceptibility to HL.
International Journal of Cancer 10/2005; 116(4):646-51. · 6.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An accumulating body of data suggests that the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a lymphotropic herpesvirus, is involved in the pathogenesis of a proportion of cases of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). In this study, we showed that the frequency of circulating EBV-infected cells was significantly higher (P < 0.001) in pretreatment blood samples from EBV-associated cases when compared with non-EBV-associated cases. We further showed that in patients with EBV-associated disease, the virus persisted in the peripheral blood in memory B cells. This phenotype is consistent with that seen in healthy seropositive controls, post-transplant patients and patients with acute infectious mononucleosis. The data suggest that an increased frequency of EBV carrying B cells in peripheral blood is associated with EBV-associated HL.
British Journal of Haematology 06/2005; 129(4):511-9. · 4.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To test the hypothesis that reduced exposure to common infections in the first year of life increases the risk of developing acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Design and setting The United Kingdom childhood cancer study (UKCCS) is a large population based case-control study of childhood cancer across 10 regions of the UK.
6305 children (aged 2-14 years) without cancer; 3140 children with cancer (diagnosed 1991-6), of whom 1286 had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).
Day care and social activity during the first year of life were used as proxies for potential exposure to infection in infancy.
Increasing levels of social activity were associated with consistent reductions in risk of ALL; a dose-response trend was seen. When children whose mothers reported no regular activity outside the family were used as the reference group, odds ratios for increasing levels of activity were 0.73 (95% confidence interval 0.62 to 0.87) for any social activity, 0.62 (0.51 to 0.75) for regular day care outside the home, and 0.48 (0.37 to 0.62) for formal day care (attendance at facility with at least four children at least twice a week) (P value for trend < 0.001). Although not as striking, results for non-ALL malignancies showed a similar pattern (P value for trend < 0.001). When children with non-ALL malignancies were taken as the reference group, a significant protective effect for ALL was seen only for formal day care (odds ratio = 0.69, 0.51 to 0.93; P = 0.02). Similar results were obtained for B cell precursor common ALL and other subgroups, as well as for cases diagnosed above and below age 5 years.
These results support the hypothesis that reduced exposure to infection in the first few months of life increases the risk of developing acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) is present at position -174 of the human interleukin-6 gene. The risk of developing Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) in young adults decreases with an increasing number of C alleles at this position. We analysed the effect of this SNP on incidence and outcome in HL. DNA samples from 408 cases and 349 controls were screened and analysed following stratification by age, histological subtype and Epstein-Barr virus status. Although the risk of classical HL in young adults decreased with increasing C alleles, case-control differences were not significant. An excess of G alleles was observed for nodular lymphocyte predominant HL in young adults (n = 21), which was significant.
British Journal of Haematology 03/2005; 128(4):493-5. · 4.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have examined space-time clustering amongst cases of lymphoma in children, aged 0-14 years, using population-based data from the North West of England for the period 1954-2001. There was little or no evidence for space-time clustering amongst all the lymphomas or amongst those sub-groups identified in advance.
European Journal of Cancer 04/2004; 40(4):585-9. · 5.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The epidemiological and pathological features of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) are complex. The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is consistently associated with a proportion of cases, and these cases are thought to represent a distinct aetiological subgroup of HL. The aim of the present analysis was to determine the age and sex specific incidence of EBV associated and non-associated HL, analysed separately, using data derived from a population based study-the Scotland and Newcastle epidemiological study of Hodgkin's disease (SNEHD). This study also provided a unique opportunity to evaluate accuracy in the current diagnosis and classification of HL.
SNEHD analysed consecutive cases of HL diagnosed in the study area between 1993 and 1997. Diagnostic biopsy material was retrieved, EBV status of tumours was determined, and histological review was performed.
In total, 622 cases were eligible for the study, and EBV studies and histopathological review were performed on biopsy material from 537 and 549 cases, respectively. Accuracy in the overall diagnosis of HL and classification of nodular sclerosis HL was good, but diagnosis of HL in the elderly and classification of other subtypes was less reliable. One third of classic HL cases were EBV associated, and age specific incidence curves for EBV associated and non-associated cases were distinct.
Comparison of age specific incidence curves for EBV associated and non-associated HL supports the hypothesis that these are two distinct aetiological entities. Accuracy in the diagnosis of HL is generally good, but certain subgroups of cases continue to present diagnostic difficulties.
Journal of Clinical Pathology 12/2003; 56(11):811-6. · 2.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infectious mononucleosis (IM) is an established risk factor for Hodgkin's disease (HD). A substantial minority (33%) of cases of HD have Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) DNA within the malignant cells (are EBV+ve). It is unclear whether risk after IM applies specifically to EBV+ve HD. We report the results of a population-based case-control study of HD in adults (n = 408 cases of classical HD, 513 controls) aged 16-74 years; the case series included 113 EBV+ve and 243 EBV+ve HD. Analyses compared total HD, EBV+ve HD and EBV-ve HD with the controls and EBV+ve HD with EBV-ve HD cases using, mainly, logistic regression. Regression analyses were adjusted for gender, age-group and socioeconomic status, and were performed for the whole age range and separately for young (< 35 years) and old adults (> or = 35 years); formal tests of effect modification by age were included. For the young adults, reported IM in index or relative was strongly and significantly associated with EBV+ve HD when compared to controls (odds ratio [OR] = 2.94, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.08-7.98 and OR = 5.22, 95% CI: 2.15-12.68, respectively). These results may be interpreted as indications that late first exposure to EBV increases risk of HD, especially in young adults; this applies primarily to EBV+ve HD.
International Journal of Cancer 11/2003; 107(2):298-302. · 6.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine pathology characteristics of breast cancers detected by mammography screening over 10 years in Scotland, and compare the nature of cancer yields after different levels of very small invasive cancer at prevalence detection.
A pathology database of cancers from mammography screening of women aged 50-64 years invited every three years was used to assess the variation over time in annual yield of different invasive cancer sizes. Screening centres were compared for incidence screen yields, according to sizes, histological type, grade, and node status.
There was a significant trend over time for increased detection of < 15 mm cancers among 2353 prevalence cancers, and a significant trend for increase in all size groups, < 10, 10-14, < 15, and >or= 15 mm, among 2245 incidence cancers. Based on individual screening centres, there was a significant negative relation between proportions of very small (< 10 mm) cancers at prevalence screens and of large (>or= 15 mm) cancers at incidence screens of the same "cohort" three years later. There was no significant relation on the same centre basis for worse pathology characteristics (histological no special type, high grade, and positive node status) in cancers detected in the same "cohort" three years later.
Sensitive mammography screening has a significant effect on the nature of yields at subsequent screens. Length of screening interval and consistency in pathologist opinions are factors that account for lack of effect on incidence cancer qualitative pathology characteristics. These issues are relevant to the use of such characteristics as surrogate measures of service screening performance.
Journal of Clinical Pathology 10/2003; 56(9):654-9. · 2.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is associated with a proportion of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) cases, and this association is believed to be causal. The aetiology of cases lacking EBV in the tumour cells (EBV HRS-ve), which make up the majority of cases in western countries, is obscure. It has been suggested that EBV may also cause these tumours by using a hit-and-run mechanism. Support for this idea comes from the finding that most young adult patients, who are likely to have a good immune response to EBV, have EBV HRS-ve HL. We investigated this possibility using a combined serologic and molecular approach. Analysis of EBV seroprevalence rates in an epidemiologic study of young adult HL revealed that cases with EBV HRS-ve HL were more likely to be EBV-seronegative than controls. Furthermore, additional studies clearly showed that some HL patients have never been infected by EBV. Quantitative PCR was used to look for the presence of deleted EBV genomes in a series of adult cases with both EBV HRS+ve and HRS-ve HL. Subgenomic fragments were detected in equimolar proportions. This study, therefore, found no evidence to support the idea that a hit-and-run mechanism involving EBV plays a role in the pathogenesis of HL.
International Journal of Cancer 06/2003; 104(5):624-30. · 6.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aetiology of most childhood solid tumours (other than central nervous system [CNS] tumours) is unclear. To investigate whether certain environmental exposures may be involved, we have analysed for space-time clustering using population-based data from North West England for the period 1954-98. Knox tests for space-time interactions between cases were applied with fixed thresholds of close in space, <5 km, and close in time, <1 year apart. Addresses at birth and at diagnosis were used. Tests were repeated replacing geographical distance with distance to the Nth nearest neighbour. N was chosen such that the mean distance was 5 km. Data were also examined by a second order procedure based on K-functions. There was significant evidence of space-time clustering for Wilms' tumours (p = 0.03 and 0.04, using the geographical distance and nearest neighbour versions of the Knox test; and p = 0.07 and 0.03, using the geographical distance and nearest neighbour versions of the K-function method), and soft tissue sarcomas (p = 0.01, using both the geographical distance and nearest neighbour versions of the Knox test; and p = 0.001 and 0.002, using the geographical distance and nearest neighbour versions of the K-function method) based on time and location at birth, but not time and location at diagnosis. There was little or no evidence of space-time clustering amongst other diagnostic groups. These are the first results to demonstrate space-time clustering for childhood Wilms' tumours and soft tissue sarcomas. The results are consistent with environmental exposure hypotheses, relating to locations pre-natally or peri-natally.
International Journal of Cancer 02/2003; 103(2):253-8. · 6.20 Impact Factor