CLL Topics Banner: Therapies, Research and Patient Education for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
CLL Topics Home Navigation Topics Alert Learning Tools About Us Feedback Feedback
Full Menu

Topics Alert

world balloon

Topics Alert Archive

Alert Number 172

Mononucleosis and CLL: a Straw Poll

July 8, 2006.

As we point out in our latest article, The Enemy within, very recent research suggests that infectious mononucleosis leaves behind a permanent and important deficit (the authors call it a ‘scar’) on T-cell function. There is also new report from M. D. Anderson that EBV RNA is detected in the bone marrow of a significant percent of CLL patients, but not in “normal” people used as controls. All of this is of vital importance to us since Keating, et al. also suggest EBV RNA in the bone marrow has a very dramatic (negative) effect on 10 year survival chances.

I decided to do a little survey of my own to see if there was a link between prior case of mononucleosis and present diagnosis of CLL. At the end of my article I asked people to write if they (1) had infectious mononucleosis as kids or young adults and (2) if they had more than their share of infections and/or skin cancer issues. Out of the roughly 1,000 people who read my article thus far, I heard back from 15 people who answered yes to both questions. It is reasonable that there are far more of you guys out there who did not chose to write back, or have not gotten around to doing it. Even if we use just the folks that answered, the incidence in the CLL patient population is 1.5%, and is likely to be much higher if everyone had responded.

You would be interested to know, the incidence of infectious mononucleosis in the general public is estimated at 0.045%. That means the incidence of mono in CLL patients is at least 33 times higher, and this is likely to be a gross underestimate.

I don’t know about you, but the results of this straw poll blew me away. I have not been able to find any rigorous study or survey that has looked at prior mononucleosis as a risk factor in developing CLL down the road, so I have no way of judging the validity of our very unscientific straw poll. If any of you are aware of such a study, please let us know.

Hmmm.. I wonder what we can do to get such a poll conducted, with larger sample size and therefore more reliable statistics.

Be well,


NOTICE: This page from the Topics Alert archive was originally emailed to subscribers of Topics Alert, a free service of CLL Topics Inc. If you are not a subscriber and you wish to receive email Alerts, please register at the Topics Alert subscription page. The content of this page is intended for information only and it is NOT meant to be medical advice. Please be sure to consult and follow the advice of your doctors on all medical matters.

Go to Alert Archive Listing

You may also retrieve a different Alert,
by entering a new Alert number here
(in the range 1 to 309)



Disclaimer: The content of this website is intended for information only and is NOT meant to be medical advice. Please be sure to consult and follow the advice of your doctors on all medical matters.

Copyright Notice:

Copyright © 2002-2007 CLL Topics, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CLL Topics, Inc. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.

However, you may download and print material from exclusively for your personal, noncommercial use.




up arrow