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Am J Hematol. 1993 Apr;42(4):337-9.

Three cases of familial hairy cell leukemia.

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  • 1James Paton Memorial Hospital, Gander, Newfoundland, Canada.


In a 10-year interval, a total of 12 cases of familial hairy cell leukemia have been published. They were noted in first degree relatives, mostly in men. In some instances, when the HLA type was performed, a specific HLA type was found in the studied family, but a different haplotype was seen in other families. It appeared that familial cases of hairy cell leukemia were not associated with a "specific HLA antigen" and other factor(s) such as environmental, or some kind of occupational exposure, were suggested to play a role in the familial occurrence of hairy cell leukemia. We add three more familial hairy cell leukemia cases which are different from other published cases, showing a female predominance. The HLA typing revealed interesting findings. The HLA type shared by case 1 and 3 was A2, A30/31(19), B27, Bw4, Bw6. From these, HLA A2, Bw4, and Bw6 were previously reported (Ward FT, Baker J, Krishnan J, Dow N, Kjobech CH: Cancer 65:319-321, 1990). Case 2, shared with the other two the antigen Bw6. Its specific HLA type was A3 and B7, the type previously reported in a family (Begley CG, Tait B, Crapper RM, Briggs RG, Brodie GN, Mackay IR: Leuk Res 11:1027-1028, 1987). Based on these observations, we may conclude that a "specific HLA type," A2, Bw4, Bw6 and A3, B7 might have a role in the genetic predisposition for hairy cell leukemia.

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