Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Hepatitis B linked to cases of lymphoma in study


(Reuters) - People infected with hepatitis B virus are around twice as likely to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma, researchers reported on Tuesday.

Hepatitis B was already known to cause liver cancer and some scientists had suspected it might cause lymphoma, too. The study,published in Lancet Oncology, confirms this. Hepatitis C is also linked to lymphoma.

The blood cancer is not common and widespread vaccination against the viruses is unlikely to affect non-Hodgkin lymphoma rates much, the researchers noted. But it may be possible to treat the virus and help non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients, they said.
Dr. Eric Engels of the U.S. National Cancer Institute and Sun Ha Jee of Yonsei University in Seoul studied the records of more than 600,000 people in South Korea, where hepatitis B was extremely common before a vaccination campaign began in 1995.

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