Sickle Cell Trait, Hemoglobin C Trait, and Burkitt's Lymphoma

F. K. NkrumahDepartment of Child Health, University of Ghana Medical School, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Accra, Ghana

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I. V. PerkinsDepartment of Child Health, University of Ghana Medical School, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Accra, Ghana

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In a controlled study in Ghana, the hemoglobin electrophoretic pattern in 112 patients with Burkítt's lymphoma was compared to that of their nearest neighbor controls of the same age, sex, and tribe, as well as their sibling controls. Analysis of the data obtained did not show any statistically significant protective advantage for sickle cell trait against Burkitt's lymphoma. Hemoglobin C trait appeared to offer a slight protective advantage (p < 0.1), but this did not reach statistical significance. These results do not disprove the malaria co-factor hypothesis in the etiology of Burkitt's lymphoma, but deprive it of an additional indirect evidence in its favor.

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