Projects of the Unit of Fundamentals of Cancer Prevention

Case-Control Study on the Etiology of Lymphoma

Lymphoma is one of the few cancer sites for which mortality is still increasing in Germany. Previous studies indicate that responsiveness of the immune system and infectious agents (viruses: EBV, HBV, HCV; helicobacter pylori) might be involved in the causation of lymphoma. These will be focal points for a case-control study which was planned during the year 1997 and started in this year. Other factors being considered in the study are exposure to pesticides, and occupational exposures to chemicals or to asbestos. A further motivation to conduct this study is that modern molecular biologically based methods of diagnosis and classification have been established and are going to be accepted internationally (REAL-classification). They allow us to investigate associations between specific exposures and specific subentities of lymphoma.
The study is being conducted in three regions of Germany (Heidelberg, Ludwigshafen and Würzburg). It is population-based and includes the age range of 18-80 years. A one to one sex- and age-matched control group is drawn from the general population. In order to carry out virological analyses and analyses of genetic polymorphisms which potentially interact with viruses, from each case and each control blood sample are drawn and frozen. Besides that, tissue material of the lymph nodes of the cases are stored to look for viral material. For this purpose, procedures are applied which allow to screen entire classes of viruses (Papilloma- and Polyomaviruses).

Publications in cooperation with the german study

to top