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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

UAB Investigates Risk Factors for Adult ALL

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma (ALL) in adults is a rare malignancy with a poor clinical outcome and few known risk factors. Dr. Christine Skibola, professor in the department of epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and fellow investigators performed an exploratory pooled analysis of 152 ALL cases and 23,096 controls in 22 studies that are part of a large international consortium of lymphoma case-control studies called InterLymph. In this study, Dr. Skibola and her team examined the role of medical history, lifestyle, family history, and occupational risk factors and risk of ALL.

Close-up of Dr. Christine Skibola, PhD (Professor, Epidemiology) in lab.

[Photo: Dr. Christine Skibola]

They discovered that individuals with a family history of a blood cancer, consumers of alcohol, and those working in sewing/embroidery and leather industries had three- to four-fold increased risks of ALL. Moreover, a suggestive inverse association with ALL risk was found for individuals who had ever received a blood transfusion compared with those who were never transfused. This finding is consistent with InterLymph reports for other lymphomas.

The researchers concluded that although the results of this pooled analysis indicate some novel risk factors for adult ALL, these could be chance findings and will require further replication to assess their role in the etiology of adult ALL.

“Medical History, Lifestyle, Family History, and Occupational Risk Factors for Adult Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia: The InterLymph Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Subtypes Project” was published in August in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute Monographs.

Journal article: