Cancer risks among relatives of children with Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma

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A role for genetic susceptibility in the aetiology of childhood lymphomas was investigated in 454 families of children with histologically confirmed Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) from Northwest England. Cancers in parents were obtained from the UK National Health Service Central Register and in other close relatives by interview with the parents. The cancer incidence among relatives was compared with expected incidence based on cancer registry data for England. There were 197 cancers in relatives (SIR 1.0 95% CI 0.8–1.1). In families of children with HL, there was an excess of HL in the first degree relatives (SIR 5.8 95% CI 1.2–16.9). Excesses of HL diagnosed under population median age (SIR 4.1 95% CI 1.1–10.6) were seen among all relatives and relatives of children who were below the median age at diagnosis (SIR 5.5 95% CI 1.1–16.0). In families of children with NHL, there were non-significant excesses of central nervous system (CNS) tumours in the first degree relatives (SIR 2.9 95% CI 0.8–7.4) and in the second and third degree relatives (SIR 1.5). There were significant excesses of CNS tumours diagnosed under the population median age (SIR 2.8 95% CI 1.1–5.8) in all relatives. Excess CNS tumours were also seen among relatives of children below the median age at diagnosis (SIR 3.2 95% CI 1.1–7.6). In conclusion, genetic susceptibility in some families of children with lymphoma might be operating, but aetiologies in HL and NHL appear to be different. Possible interpretations of our findings, in the context of putative genetic and infectious aetiologies, are discussed. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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