Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Infections and childhood cancer in Malawi
Author: Mutalima, Nora
ISNI:       0000 0004 2743 6146
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2007
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
The causes of childhood cancers are not well understood. That infections are believed to play an important role in childhood cancer development is of particular interest in sub-Saharan Africa, where infectious diseases are common. The objectives of this thesis were to identify childhood cancers associated with HIV, malaria, EBV and HHV-8, and to investigate child and maternal factors associated with Burkitt lymphoma and Kaposi sarcoma. In Blantyre, Malawi, 305 children diagnosed with cancer and 212 of their mothers, were recruited. Risk factor data were collected using a brief questionnaire and blood samples tested for infections. Case-control analyses were conducted to compare 148 Burkitt lymphoma cases and 22 Kaposi sarcoma case with a control group comprising 104 children with cancers other than those known to be associated with HIV. The prevalence of HIV was 6% among children with Burkitt lymphoma and 2% in controls (OR=12.4, 95% CI 1.3 to 116.2). Tumour risk increased with increasing litres of antibodies against EBV and malaria. In comparison with those who had low titres against both EBV and malaria, the highest risk of Burkitt lymphoma was among those with high titres against both infections (OR=13.2, 95% CI 3.8 to 46.6). Reported use of mosquito nets was protective against Burkitt lymphoma. The prevalence of HIV was 81% among children with Kaposi sarcoma (OR=762.7, 95% CI 44 to 13376), and risk increased with increasing HHV-8 antibodies. Prevalence of infections was also examined among children with other cancer types and no associations were identified, although the number of cases was small. Few maternal factors were found to be associated with cancer in children. This research demonstrates that infections play a particularly important role in increasing the risk of Burkitt lymphoma and Kaposi sarcoma in children in sub- Saharan Africa. Prevention or early treatment of these infections may be vital in the control of childhood cancer.
Supervisor: Jaffe, Harold W.; Newton, Robert Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Cancer in children ; Infection in children ; Cancer ; Etiology ; Malawi