Large study identifies risk factors for multiple myeloma

December 13, 2012

Multiple myeloma is a type of leukaemia which affects B lymphocytes. There have been some indications that exposure to pesticides or chlorinated solvents increases the risk of developing this cancer. New research published in Biomed Central's open access journal Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology provides a large (from 22 centres across Europe), matched control study into lifetime risk of multiple myeloma. They find that risk of Multiple myeloma is related to farm work, printing and cleaning. But although exposure to pesticides seemed to be a risk, exposure to organic solvents was not.

The EPILYMPH study was set up to investigate risk of multiple myeloma with level of education, smoking, body mass index, lifetime occupational history, and occupational exposure to previously suggested potential risks including chemicals, live animals, dust, contact with meat, working with children, and ionizing radiation. Recruitment into the study was conducted at 22 centres in six European countries starting in 1998 and ending in 2004. This large study included 277 multiple myeloma cases, each with four controls, matched by age and gender.

The occupational groups with an increased risk were farmers, cleaning workers, telephone and radio operators. There was some indication that print workers and gardeners were also at increased risk, although the number of cases were too small for this to be statistically significant. Risk for both farmers and printers continued to increased with duration of occupation (for more than10 years 'on the job').
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Notes

1. Multiple Myeloma and lifetime occupation: results from the EPILYMPH study Carla Perrotta, Anthony Staines, Mary Codd, Silke Kleefeld, Dominique Crowley, Andrea t'Mannetje, Nicholas Becker, Paul Brennan, Silvia Sanjosé, Lenka Foretova, Marck Maynadié, Alexandra Nieters, Paolo Boffetta and Pierluggi Cocco Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology (in press)

Please name the journal in any story you write. If you are writing for the web, please link to the article. All articles are available free of charge, according to BioMed Central's open access policy.

Article citation and URL available on request on the day of publication.

2. JOMT is an open access, peer-reviewed, online journal that considers original research related to the field of occupational medicine and toxicology.

3. BioMed Central is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector. @BioMedCentral

BioMed Central

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