Purpose: To our knowledge, this is the first study exploring the association of childhood non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) with serum adiponectin and leptin levels in a nationwide case-control series. In addition, expression of adiponectin receptors in NHL specimens was assessed, and the association between adipokines and childhood NHL survival and prognosis was examined.
Patients and methods: We studied 121 incident childhood (0 to 14 years) NHL cases registered in the Nationwide Registry for Childhood Hematological Malignancies (1996 to 2006) and an equal number of matched controls, for whom sociodemographic, lifestyle, prenatal characteristics, and fasting blood serums were collected. Serum adiponectin and leptin levels were determined. Immunohistochemisty for adiponectin receptors expression was performed on commercially available adult NHL specimens (n = 30) and in a subset of childhood NHL cases (n = 6) that were available. Summary statistics, multiple conditional logistic regression analyses, and survival analysis were performed.
Results: Higher serum adiponectin, but not leptin, levels were independently associated with childhood NHL (odds ratio, 1.82; 95% CI, 1.30 to 2.56), after adjusting for obesity and established risk factors. Higher adiponectin levels at diagnosis were positively associated with relapse and poor survival, but hormone levels did not differ among NHL subtypes. Adiponectin receptors 1 and 2 were present in 90% and 57% of adult samples and in 83% and 100% of childhood NHL samples, respectively.
Conclusion: Elevated serum adiponectin, but not leptin, levels are independently associated with childhood NHL and poor prognosis. Adiponectin receptors are expressed in NHL, suggesting that adiponectin may represent not only a potential clinically significant diagnostic and prognostic marker but also a molecule that may be implicated in NHL pathogenesis.