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Blood Cells Mol Dis. 2009 Mar-Apr;42(2):99-104. doi: 10.1016/j.bcmd.2008.10.003. Epub 2008 Dec 2.

Allergies and childhood leukemia.

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Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, 44 Page Street, University of California-San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143-1215, USA.


A majority of studies to date have reported an inversed association between allergies and childhood leukemia. However, this association is likely an indirect one and may represent some shared underlying immune mechanisms that have been explained in the context of the "hygiene hypothesis", which has been thought to play an important role in the development of both allergies and childhood leukemia. This review focuses on what we know so far about the role of various immune cells (Th1, Th2, T regulatory and Th17 cells) in the development of allergies and how they may potentially be related to the etiology of childhood leukemia. In addition, the utilities of genetic and molecular studies to disentangle the association between allergies and childhood leukemia and to elucidate the biological mechanisms are also discussed.

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