Israeli and Palestinian Researchers Cooperate to Find Risk Factors for B Cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma19-02-2017
In both groups, recreational sun exposure, black hair-dye use, a history of hospitalization for infection, and having a first-degree relative with a blood cancer were associated with B-NHL. Each group had unique risk factors too.
Non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL), tumours which may originate from B or T lymphocytes, account for approximately 3% of the worldwide cancer burden. Most epidemiological studies of NHL have been carried out in North American and European populations, with a few focusing on East Asian populations. Very few epidemiological studies have been conducted on B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL) in Middle Eastern populations.
Since Israelis and Palestinians represent genetically and culturally diverse populations living in geographic proximity, research analyzing their risk factors can enrich our understanding of genes and environment in the causation of lymphoma. Despite sharing the same ecosystem, the populations differ in terms of lifestyle, health behaviours and medical systems. Yet both populations report high incidences of NHL, which represents the fifth most common malignancy in Israel and the eighth most common malignancy among West Bank Palestinians. (As of 2012, Israel also ranked first in the world in NHL incidence rates.)
Now, Israeli and Palestinian researchers, led by Prof. Ora Paltiel, Director of the Hebrew University-Hadassah Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine, and a Senior Physician in Hadassah's Hematology Department, have conducted a large scale epidemiological study examining risk factors for B-NHL and its subtypes in these two populations.
Recruiting from both the Palestinian Arab and Israeli Jewish populations, the researchers looked at medical history, environmental and lifestyle factors among 823 people with B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL) and 808 healthy controls. Using data from questionnaires, pathology review, serology and genotyping, they uncovered some risk factors common to both populations and other factors unique to each population.
The data, reported in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE, showed that in both populations, overall B-NHL was associated with recreational sun exposure, black hair-dye use, a history of hospitalization for infection, and having a first-degree relative with a blood cancer. An inverse association was noted with alcohol use. Some exposures, including smoking and greater-than-monthly indoor pesticide use, were associated with specific subtypes of B-NHL.
The data also pointed to differences between the populations. Among Palestinian Arabs only, risk factors included gardening and a history of herpes, mononucleosis, rubella, or blood transfusion, while these factors were not identified in the Israeli Jewish population. In contrast, risk factors that applied to Israeli Jews only included growing fruits and vegetables, and self-reported autoimmune diseases.
The researchers concluded that differences in the observed risk factors by ethnicity could reflect differences in lifestyle, medical systems, and reporting patterns, while variations by lymphoma subtypes infer specific causal factors for different types of the disease. These findings require further investigation as to their mechanisms.
The fact that risk factors operate differently in different ethnic groups raises the possibility of gene-environment interactions, that is, that environmental exposures act differently in individuals of different genetic backgrounds. But this divergence may reflect differences in diet, cultural habits, socioeconomic, environmental and housing conditions, medical services, exposure to infections in early life or other factors.
This study reflects a unique joint scientific effort involving Israeli and Palestinian investigators, and demonstrates the importance of cooperative research even in politically uncertain climates. Cancer epidemiology will be enriched through the broadening of analytic research to include under-studied populations from a variety of ethnicities and geographic regions.
“Apart from the scientific contribution that this research provides in terms of understanding risk factors for NHL, the study entails an important research cooperation among many institutions. The study provided opportunities for training Palestinian and Israeli researchers, and will provide for intellectual interaction for years to come. The data collected will also provide a research platform for the future study of lymphoma. Epidemiologic research has the potential to improve and preserve human health, and it can also serve as a bridge to dialogue among nations,” said Prof. Ora Paltiel, Director of the Hebrew University-Hadassah Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine, and a Senior Physician in Hadassah's Hematology Department.
The Hebrew University and the Rothberg International School express our deep sorrow over the murder of Hannah Bladon15-04-2017
The new Centre will serve as one of the worlds leading institutes for conducting and coordinating research about cannabinoids, endocannabinoids and medical Cannabis05-04-2017
2017 marked the 20th anniversary of The Sir Sigmund and Lady Hazel Sternberg Prizes for Interfaith Understanding04-04-2017
Even at the cellular level, stress and the ability to mount a stress response are essential to our survival04-04-2017
Without these teachers, many of these high schools simply wouldn't have science teachers30-03-2017
62% of school-age children and 85% of pregnant women have low iodine intakes27-03-2017
The evening was hosted by Lord Pannick QC, Chairman of the Legal Group16-03-2017
In the biggest deal to ever hit Israels hi-tech industry, US chip giant Intel will be buying JerusalemÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s autonomous driving company Mobileye for about $15 billion13-03-2017
Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University, announced today that it has signed an agreement with Lolo Educational Services Co., Korea08-03-2017
This new policy will significantly increase the number of East Jerusalem Palestinians who attend the University02-03-2017
The Order of Merit recognizes Prof. Ben-Sasson's outstanding, extensive, and personal commitment to German-Israeli relations in the field of science, and thus to the cooperation between our two nations01-03-2017
Study suggests that people 'live up to their name' with their facial appearance27-02-2017
Hebrew University researchers describe how infectious bacteria sense they are attached to intestinal cells and remodel their gene expression to exploit our cells and colonize our gut22-02-2017
In both groups, recreational sun exposure, black hair-dye use, a history of hospitalization for infection, and having a first-degree relative with a blood cancer were associated with B-NHL. Each group had unique risk factors too.19-02-2017
Lord Pannick, QC, at Blackstone Chambers, acted for the lead claimant Gina Miller in the historic 11-justice Supreme Court case.09-02-2017
Hebrew University biophysicists used quantitative approaches from Physics to understand issues in Biology09-02-2017
Hebrew University Truman Institute together with Scholas Occurrentes Educational Organization established by Pope Francis, are developing a conference and a programme on Culture of Encounter through Education in Jerusalem08-02-2017
Results obtained in a joint trial with Israel Electric Corporation (IEC)06-02-2017
Hebrew University researchers are part of an international team that identified the chemical compounds and the functional genes that give a tomato its great taste05-02-2017
Prof. Liebes, from the Department of Jewish Thought, awarded for his work in Kaballah and Jewish myth05-02-2017
Discovery of the Dipole Repeller confirms that both attraction and repulsion are at play in our extragalactic neighbourhood30-01-2017
Hebrew University Researchers provide new insight into the brain mechanisms underlying a condition that causes reading and writing difficulties25-01-2017
New fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls have been uncovered by Archaeologists working on a salvage excavation in the Cave of Skulls by the Dead Sea in Israel.10-01-2017
American and Israeli research teams are preparing to explore treatments for cancer using science and engineering at the molecular level, commonly known as nanotechnology.10-01-2017
Bacteriophages (phages) are probably the most abundant entities in nature, often exceeding bacterial densities by an order of magnitude.10-01-2017
Scientists present first direct evidence that human neocortical neurons have unique membrane properties that enhance signal processing04-01-2017
States can no longer legislate solely within their own boundaries; project aims address war, crime and privacy in cyberspace04-01-2017