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Investigators Find Shared, Distinct Genetic Contributors to Childhood Hodgkin Lymphoma

Researchers at the Shanghai Jiaotong University, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and other centers describe genetic variants linked to Hodgkin lymphoma risk in children — including risk variants with ties to adult forms of the disease — for a paper appearing in JAMA Network Open. With array-based genotyping or whole-genome sequencing profiles for 1,286 individuals with childhood Hodgkin lymphoma, almost 6,200 individuals diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma forms of pediatric cancer, and 369 cancer-free controls, the team used a genetic association study to track down three human leukocyte antigen (HLA) SNPs linked to Hodgkin lymphoma risk, along with risk variants falling outside the HLA region. "Although the genetic etiology of [Hodgkin lymphoma] has been investigated, studies among patients with childhood-onset [Hodgkin lymphoma] are lacking," the authors explain, reporting that the risk variants identified "implicate multiple biological processes, including germinal center dysfunction, disrupted T-cell function, and nuclear factors-kappa-B activation, in [Hodgkin lymphoma] pathogenesis across age groups."