Some lymphomas brought on by hepatitis B virus

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The hepatitis B virus, already implicated in liver cancer, may also be involved in causing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, according to an enormous new retrospective study from South Korea.

Researchers looked at the records of over 600,000 South Koreans from the early 1990s, prior to the launch of a vaccination program against hepatitis B and found that those carrying the virus had an increased risk of developing an NHL, specifically diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, compared to those without the virus.

CONCLUSIONS

Researchers speculated that in people with either hepatitis B or C, the immune system may become overstimulated trying to fight off the liver infection causes by these viruses, leading to the lymphoma.

HEMATOLOGICAL CANCER TYPE(S)

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL)

WHERE WAS THIS RESEARCH PUBLISHED?

The Lancet Oncology

By Ross Bonander

Citation

Engels EA et al. "Hepatitis B virus infection and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in South Korea: a cohort study." Lancet Oncology.doi:10.1016/S1470-2045(10)70167-4

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