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Is there a common aetiology for certain childhood malignancies? Results of cross-space-time clustering analyses

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Richard McNallyORCiD


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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). (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): McNally RJQ, Eden TOB, Alexander FE, Kelsey AM, Birch JM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Journal of Cancer

Year: 2005

Volume: 41

Issue: 18

Pages: 2911-2916

ISSN (print): 0959-8049

ISSN (electronic): 1879-0852

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/j.ejca.2005.04.051


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