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Reuters Health Information (2008-05-07): Risk of malignant lymphoma increased with hepatitis C infection


Risk of malignant lymphoma increased with hepatitis C infection

Last Updated: 2008-05-07 10:56:07 -0400 (Reuters Health)

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Patients infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) have a modestly increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), according to a report in the April 15th International Journal of Cancer.

Previous studies have shown an association between HCV infection and the risk of NHL in Southern European populations, but not in Northern Europe or North American populations, the authors explain.

Dr. Claudia Schollkopf from Stats Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark and colleagues investigated HCV infection and the risks of NHL overall, specific NHL subtypes, and Hodgkin lymphoma in a large population-based study of Danish and Swedish individuals.

HCV infection was associated with a nonsignificant increase in the overall risk of NHL, the investigators report, and with a significant 2.4-fold increase in the risk of B-cell lymphomas and a 5.2-fold increased risk of lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma.

There were nonsignificant increases in the risks of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, and follicular lymphoma in patients with HCV infection.

There was no association between HCV infection and mantle cell lymphoma, marginal zone lymphoma, T-cell lymphoma, or Hodgkin lymphoma, the researchers found.

"We observed some evidence for a role of HCV in the etiology of lymphoma," the investigators conclude. "However, the magnitude of association was modest."

"Further studies are needed to focus on the biological mechanisms of HCV-related lymphomagenesis and contributing host and viral factors," the authors add.

Int J Cancer 2008;122:1885-1890.

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