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Prof Mel Greaves – why do children get leukaemia?

Roundup comments accompanied this briefing.


We’ve heard from scientists that childhood leukaemia may be a rare response to a common infection.  Others have aired their theories that things like electromagnetic radiation, power lines, and pollution may be responsible.  But what does the evidence show?  Do we know why some children get leukaemia and others don’t?

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) is the most common childhood cancer and it has increased in frequency over the last decades, existing mainly in the developed world.  Cure rates have gone up hugely thanks to research and advances in treatment but some children still die.

Prof Mel Greaves has spent the last 40 years researching childhood leukaemia.  Now he is publishing a review paper in Nature Reviews Cancer (to be published at 18:00 UK time on Monday 21 May) detailing why he believes the body of evidence gives a strong indication about why some children get leukaemia.




Prof Mel Greaves, Director of the Centre for Evolution and Cancer, The Institute of Cancer Research, London


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