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Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia




Viral Causes

No definite evidence to link maternal infection and risk of ALL in offspring.

Possible that leukemia is due to a rare response to a common infection or a rare virus causing leukemia.


Evidence for possible viral cause of ALL:

Young age of onset of ALL

  • Corresponds to a time when the immune system is developing and is very vulnerable to viral infection

Increased incidence after maternal infection with influenza, varicella

  • Not statistically significant

Animal virus can cause leukemia

  • Feline and bovine leukemia viruses

EBV (Epstein- Barr Virus)

  • Known to be associated with epidemic Burkitts lymphoma, L3 Morphology ALL and Hodgkin lymphoma

Human Lymphotropic viruses (HTLV I & II)

  • Retroviruses associated with some adult T cell and hairy cell leukemia.

HIV infection

  • Pediatric AIDS cases have increased risk of NHL (pre-B subtype) and mucosa associated lymphoid tumor (MALT lymphomas).










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