Br J Haematol 2012 Dec 1;159(5):585-8. Epub 2012 Oct 1.
Division of Molecular Genetic Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Centre, Heidelberg, Germany.
Despite recent successes in the identification of genetic susceptibility loci, no familial risk has been demonstrated for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). We identified 3994 childhood ALL cases from two cancer registries; family members were obtained from population registers. The standardized incidence ratio for familial risk in singleton siblings and twins was 3·2 (95% confidence interval 1·5-5·9) and 162·6 (70·2-320·4), respectively. The present data constitute the first demonstration of familial risk for singleton siblings; the high risk for twins is believed to result from shared prenatal blood circulation. The data suggest that currently unidentified genetic loci underlie these observed familial effects.