The role of occupational exposure and immunodeficiency in B-cell malignancies

Paolo Vineis, Francesco D’Amore, A. Seniori Costantini, G. Ciccone, P. Crosignani, A. Fontana, L. Miligi, G. Masala, P. Pisani, V. Ramazzotti, M. Ricci, S. Rodella, E. Stagnaro, P. Tosi, R. Tumino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Excesses of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma have been observed among farmers exposed to phenoxyacetic acid herbicides and, less persuasively, among workers exposed to insecticides. Exposure to organic solvents (particularly chlorinated hydrocarbons) has also been associated with an increased risk of NHL. TCDD (which is a contaminant of phenoxy herbicides), DDT, and chlorinated solvents have all been reported to induce impairment or suppression of cell-mediated immunity. We hypothesize that NHL is caused by common viruses, such as the Epstein-Barr virus, that induce proliferation and immortalization of B-cells, followed by T-cell impairment entailing cell-mediated immunodeficiency. The increased risk of NHL with HIV infection and heart or kidney transplantation, in which immunodeficiency also occurs, is consistent with this hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-270
Number of pages5
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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