Other highlights in the March 15 JNCI

Dietary Folate Intake Associated with Reduced Pancreatic Cancer Risk

High dietary folate intake may be associated with a reduced risk of pancreatic cancer, a new study suggests. However, supplemental folate intake was not associated with pancreatic cancer risk.

Susanna C. Larsson, M.Sc., of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and colleagues gave a food and diet questionnaire to 81,922 cancer-free men and women enrolled in the Swedish Mammography Cohort and Cohort of Swedish Men. They followed these men and women for an average of 6.8 years, and observed 135 cases of pancreatic cancer during that time.

Men and women whose dietary intake of folate was equal to or above 350 micrograms a day had a lower incidence of pancreatic cancer than men and women whose dietary intake of folate was less than 200 micrograms a day. They calculated that there would be 41 cases per 100,000 people who consumed the lowest amounts of folate and 18 cases per 100,000 people among those consuming the most folate. The authors suggest increased dietary folate intake may be associated with a reduced risk of pancreatic cancer.

Contact: Susanna Larsson, Karolinska Institute, 46-8-524-860-59, susanna.larsson@ki.se

Study Examines Childhood Leukemia Incidence and Its Association with Influenza

A new study has found that small peaks in the annual rates of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in Britain immediately followed influenza epidemics. The finding supports the hypothesis that some childhood leukemia may be triggered by an infection occurring close to the time of diagnosis.

Mary Kroll, M.Sc., and colleagues at Oxford University, studied time trends of childhood leukemia diagnosed from 1974-2000 in England, Scotland, and Wales, using data from the National Registry of Childhood Tumors.

There was a gradual increase in the incidence of childhood ALL between 1974 and 2000. The average annual increase for ALL from 1974-2000 was 0.7%. The "common" subtype of ALL, called cALL, had an average annual increase from 1980-1996 of 1.4%. Other forms of leukemia did not show such a change. The authors suggest that the different time trends support the hypothesis that the causes of cALL are different from the causes of other types of leukemia. The authors noted that small peaks of ALL incidence directly followed influenza epidemics in the winters of 1975-76 and 1989-90. They think this is consistent with hypotheses that certain childhood leukemia could be triggered by some sort of infection near the times of diagnosis, particularly in time of widespread low immunity, such as during influenza epidemics.

Contact: Michael Murphy, Director of the Childhood Cancer Research Group, 44(0)-1865-315939, michael.murphy@ccrg.ox.ac.uk

Low Levels of Tumor Suppressing Protein Associated with Lung Cancer

A new study indicates that modification of the upstream region, not the core promoter, of the C/EBP alpha gene results in low production of a tumor suppressing protein called C/EBP alpha. Low levels of this tumor suppressing protein may be associated with lung cancer. Christoph Plass, Ph.D., of Ohio State University, and colleagues examined C/EBP alpha gene and C/EBP alpha protein expression in 15 human lung cancer cell lines and 122 human primary lung tumors.

Contact: Christoph Plass, Professor, Ohio State University, 614-292-6505, Christoph.Plass@osumc.edu

Also in the March 15 JNCI:

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Note: The Journal of the National Cancer Institute is published by Oxford University Press and is not affiliated with the National Cancer Institute. Attribution to the Journal of the National Cancer Institute is requested in all news coverage. Visit the Journal online at http://jncicancerspectrum.oxfordjournals.org/.


Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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