Genetic predisposition to acute lymphocytic leukemia in American blacks. A pediatric oncology group study

Bruce Budowle, Jim Dearth, Rodney Go, Jeffrey Roseman, Bruce Barger, Ronald Acton, Paul Bowman, Susan Melvin, William Crist, Tae Kim, Rathi Iyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Recent reports have shown an association between genes lying within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), particularly HLA and factor B (Bf), and acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) in white children. The frequencies of Bf and complement component C4 phenotypes in 90 black American children with ALL were examined to determine if a genetic association existed. The Bf and C4 results for the black children with ALL were compared with frequencies in healthy black Americans from the same geographic region. The BfF allele was carried by 95.6% of the black ALL patients compared with 86.1% of the controls (P = 0.017; relative risk = 3.5). In contrast, only 2.2% of the patients with ALL were homozygous for BfS compared with 9.8% of the controls (P = 0.043; relative risk = 0.2). These findings are similar to those observed in white American children. The C4A6 phenotype was found in 11.9% of the black children with ALL compared with 0.6% of the controls (P = 0.0026; relative risk = 22.7). These findings represent the first reported association of a particular allele whose gene lies within the MHC with ALL in black American children. The results suggest that the occurrence of ALL in black American children may be partially due to a genetic influence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2880-2882
Number of pages3
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 1985


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