Medical College of Wisconsin
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The epidemiology of childhood leukemia with a focus on birth weight and diet. Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci 2007;44(3):203-42

Date

04/25/2007

Pubmed ID

17453918

DOI

10.1080/10408360601147536

Scopus ID

2-s2.0-34047109223   60 Citations

Abstract

Leukemia is the most common childhood cancer and a major source of morbidity and mortality. The etiology of childhood leukemia remains largely unknown. Cytogenetic abnormalities determine disease subtypes, prognosis, clinical presentation, and course and may help in discovering etiological factors. Epidemiologic investigations of leukemia are complicated by many factors, including the rarity of the disease, necessitating careful study design. Two emerging areas of interest in leukemia etiology are birth weight and diet. High birth weight has been associated with increased risk of childhood leukemia. The biological mechanism behind this association may involve insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), which is associated with high birth weight. IGF-I may act by increasing the absolute number of stem cells available for transformation, stimulating the growth of cells that are already transformed, or a combination of effects. Diet has been linked with leukemia. Maternal dietary DNA topoisomerase II (DNAt2) inhibitor intake is associated with infant acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with the MLL gene translocation. Increased intake of fruits and vegetables has been associated with decreased leukemia risk and, relatedly, lack of maternal folate supplementation has been associated with increased childhood leukemia risk, possibly by causing DNA hypomethylation and increased DNA strand breaks. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene polymorphisms modify this risk.

Author List

Tower RL, Spector LG

Author

Richard L. Tower MD Associate Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin




MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Birth Weight
Child
Cytogenetics
Diet
Humans
Leukemia
jenkins-FCD Prod-482 91ad8a360b6da540234915ea01ff80e38bfdb40a