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Epidemiological Research: What Causes Are Associated With Developing Hodgkin Lymphoma?

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Published on April 18, 2019

As part of our coverage of the 2018 American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting, Hodgkin lymphoma experts Dr. Joshua Brody, from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Dr. Andrew Evens, from Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, joined Patient Power to discuss factors that are linked with the development of Hodgkin lymphoma. What factors increase a person’s risk of cancer? Can environmental exposures affect Hodgkin lymphoma risk? Watch now to learn more.

We thank Seattle Genetics for their support.

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Transcript | Epidemiological Research: What Causes Are Associated With Developing Hodgkin Lymphoma?

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That's how you’ll get care that's most appropriate for you.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Andrew Schorr:  

You mentioned—so, I had never really thought about—you get a flu shot, and they talk about if you have a risk of Epstein-Barr—I don’t even fully understand it—but, did these younger people—and even older people—was there anything that happened to them that caused the Hodgkin lymphoma?

Dr. Brody:            

So far, I would say either no or nothing we’ve yet discovered. The Epstein-Barr virus has some association, but it’s sort of a loose association. We have other lymphomas where there’s a very clear association of that virus actually pushing that lymphoma forward, some of the rarer ones—MKT lymphoma, PTLD, some rare lymphomas. In Hodgkin, there’s some association, but it’s not as strong, and it doesn’t really seem that we could attack the virus to get rid of the lymphoma cells, or not as much.

Andrew Schorr:  

So, we don’t know whether somebody at college was exposed to something, or anything like that.

Dr. Brody:            

As best we can say, epidemiological studies have not been able to clearly show—so, we get Hodgkin lymphoma in poor people, rich people, boys, girls, old people, young people, as we’ve discussed, and there’s not a clear exposure factor we could associate with Hodgkin’s.

Andrew Schorr:  

Any racial differences?

Dr. Brody:            

Not significant ones, and not significant ones associated with other incidents or outcomes, ultimately. We do see this in all races.

Dr. Evens              

But, it’s important research, and it’s so hard to go back and do this epidemiologic research because we haven’t kept records of all your exposures, et cetera. There are some really good groups doing this in the world—the epidemiologic research—but we haven’t put the puzzle together yet.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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