An infectious etiology for common acute lymphoblastic leukemia in childhood?

Leukemia. 1993 Mar;7(3):349-60.


Childhood leukemia is a biologically and clinically diverse disease and is likely to arise via a number of etiological pathways. The common, B-cell precursor, form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (cALL) accounts for the peak of childhood leukemia at 2-5 years of age. Recent epidemiological data, reviewed here, indicate that risk of cALL is increased by higher socio-economic status, isolation, and other community characteristics suggestive of abnormal patterns of infection during infancy. These data are compatible with the emerging concept that cALL may be a rare response to common infection(s).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infections / complications*
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / epidemiology
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / etiology
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / microbiology*
  • Risk Factors