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Exposure to agents predisposing to asthma could reduce the risk of lymphoma

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Exposure to agents predisposing to asthma could reduce the risk of lymphoma

A study, led by Ana Espinosa, researcher at CREAL, and Silvia de Sanjosé, researcher at ICO, and published in Cancer Epidemiology, concluded that occupational exposure to agents predisposing to asthma may reduce the risk of lymphoma.

The joint research, published in Cancer Epidemiology, developed by researchers at the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Oncology Catalan Institute (ICO), IMIM (Hospital del Mar Institute of Medical Research) and CIBER Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), concluded that exposure to agents that predispose to asthma may reduce the risk lymphoma.

As is known, allergies and asthma may be protective for the development of lymphoma. This research, published in Cancer Epidemiology and led by Ana Espinosa, researcher at the CREAL, has evaluated whether occupational allergens that provoke immune reactivity and asthma are protective for lymphoma.

Study and results

The study includes histologically or cytologically confirmed Hodgkin, B-cell, and T-cell lymphoma cases from six European countries (Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, and Czech Republic) recruited in 1998-2004. Lifetime occupational exposure to seven high molecular weight (HMW) agents, like latex, was evaluated through an asthma-specific job-exposure matrix. 2205 lymphoma cases and 2296 controls with complete occupational history could be included in the analysis. Associations between HMW exposures and lymphoma were evaluated.

Individuals exposed to latex show a decreased risk of 25%, of lymphoma, the rest of HMW had a non-statistically significant decreased risk.

“Further epidemiologic and mechanistic research is needed to confirm that occupational exposure to HMW agents predisposing to asthma can reduce the risk of lymphoma”, said Espinosa.


Espinosa A, Zock JP, Benavente Y, Boffetta P, Becker N, Brennan P, Cocco P, Foretova L, Maynadié M, Staines A, Nieters A, Kogevinas M, de Sanjose S. Occupational exposure to immunologically active agents and risk for lymphoma: The European Epilymph case-control study. Cancer Epidemiol. 2013 Mar 20. [Epub ahead of print]


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