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Bottom Line: Neonatal concentrations of eight detectable inflammatory markers were significantly different in children later diagnosed with B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) compared with controls.

Journal in Which the Study was Published: Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Author: Signe Holst Søegaard, MSc, PhD fellow in the Department of Epidemiology Research at Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen, Denmark

Background: Prior research indicates that ALL could develop in children because of an overreaction to infections in childhood, Søegaard explained. This may hold promise for the prevention of childhood ALL through early immune modulation, she added.

How the Study Was Conducted: Søegaard and colleagues used data from Denmark’s Neonatal Screening Biobank and nationwide registers to assess baseline characteristics of the immune system of children born in Denmark from 1995 to 2008, who at ages 1-9 years were diagnosed with B-cell precursor ALL, the most common ALL subtype in children. They measured the concentrations of inflammatory markers, including cytokines and acute inflammatory proteins, on neonatal dried blood spots from 178 childhood ALL patients and 178 matched leukemia-free controls.

Inflammatory markers included interleukin (IL)-6, its soluble receptor sIL-6Rα, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12, IL-17, IL-18, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1,

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