AW: AW: [ RadSafe ] Ranger site, uranium in Australia & cancer clusters among aborigines

Rainer.Facius at Rainer.Facius at
Sat Dec 1 14:40:56 CST 2007



in the case of childhood leukaemia (which I referred to), the clustering is interpreted as the hallmark of an 'epidemic', specifically the "rare response to a rather common infectious agent". Intensive "population mixing" might then trigger such clustered outbreaks. Since for about a dozen or so cancers the contribution of infectious agents has been demonstrated, this might apply to those too.


Kind regards, Rainer



Kinlen L J.
Infection, childhood leukaemia and the Seascale cluster.
Radiol Prot Bull 226#October(2000)9-18


A significant excess of childhood leukaemias has been observed in the village of Seascale near the Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocesing plant operated by British Nuclear Fuels plc. There is evidence to indicate that this and other recent excesses could be due to infection. This paper, which formed the basis of Professor Kinlen's recent Chilton Seminar, reviews the evidence on infection in childhood leukaemia both in relation to the Seascale cluster and more generally.



McNally R J Q, Eden T O B.
An infectious aetiology for childhood leukaemia: a review of the evidence.
Br J Haematology 127#3(2004)243-63.


There are three current hypotheses concerning infectious mechanisms in the aetiology of childhood leukaemia: exposure in utero or around the time of birth, delayed exposure beyond the first year of life to common infections and unusual population mixing. No specific virus has been definitively linked with childhood leukaemia and there is no evidence to date of viral genomic inclusions within leukaemic cells. The case-control and cohort studies have revealed equivocal results. Maternal infection during pregnancy has been linked with increased risk whilst breast feeding and day care attendance in the first year of life appear to be protective. There is inconclusive evidence from studies on early childhood infectious exposures, vaccination and social mixing. Some supportive evidence for an infectious aetiology is provided by the findings of space-time clustering and seasonal variation. Spatial clustering suggests that higher incidence is confined to specific areas with increased levels of population mixing, particularly in previously isolated populations. Ecological studies have also shown excess incidence with higher population mixing. The marked childhood peak in resource-rich countries and an increased incidence of the childhood peak in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) (occurring at ages 2-6 years predominantly with precursor B-cell ALL) is supportive of the concept that reduced early infection may play a role. Genetically determined individual response to infection may be critical in the proliferation of preleukaemic clones as evidenced by the human leucocyte antigen class II polymorphic variant association with precursor B-cell and T-cell ALL.


Von: John Jacobus [mailto:crispy_bird at]
Gesendet: Sa 01.12.2007 20:54
An: Facius, Rainer; bcradsafers at; radsafe at
Betreff: Re: AW: [ RadSafe ] Ranger site, uranium in Australia & cancer clusters among aborigines

Is the clusing caused by the population, or to the
studies being done around location, i.e., the nuclear
power plant?  Populations studies are usually based on
incidence per population size, so the bias between
small populations and large is reduced.

Of course, you can have populations so small that
certain types of cancers do not appear.  Certain types
of brain cancers are so rare, that one or two may
occur over a decade.  Thus, when you have three in
three years, it becomes an "epidemic."

--- Rainer.Facius at wrote:

> For leukemia clusters - especially in childhood - in
> populations around nuclear power reactors the
> contribution of 'migration' of workers with their
> families to such usually new settlements appears to
> be an established 'cause'.
> Rainer Facius

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