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8/23/2022  |   10:45 AM - 11:10 AM   |  Governor General III

Limited evidence for an association between congenital cytomegalovirus infection and pediatric acute

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common form of pediatric cancer, and a leading cause of death in children. Understanding the causes of ALL is necessary to enable early detection and prevention. Congenital cytomegalovirus (cCMV) infection has recently been identified as a potential moderate-to-strong risk factor for development of ALL. In the present study, we aimed to replicate this finding using a large, population-based, matched case-control design. Utilizing dried blood spot samples from the Michigan BioTrust for Health we identified cCMV infection by quantitative PCR. Among the 1,189 ALL cases and 4,756 matched controls, we detected cCMV in 0.5% of ALL cases and 0.4% of controls. There was no difference in the odds of cCMV infection comparing ALL cases to controls (OR: 1.30, 95% CI: 0.52 – 3.24). Immunophenotype was available for 45% of cases and cytogenetic subtype for 21%. When stratified by subtype characteristics, hyperdiploid ALL (a subtype with duplication of chromosomes; n=74) was associated with 6.3 times greater odds of cCMV infection compared to unmatched controls (95% CI: 1.44 – 27.19), albeit on the basis of 2 exposed cases. These findings are consistent with the prior reported association.

  • understand the biology and epidemiology of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in brief
  • learn the current literature on the emerging association between congenital CMV and ALL
  • recognize the next steps to establishing causality of the association

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Session Evaluation

Logan Spector (POC-Point of Contact,Primary Presenter), spector@umn.edu;
Logan G. Spector's research focuses on the causes of childhood cancer with a focus on childhood leukemia, bone sarcomas, and hepatoblastoma. His work includes both traditional and genetic epidemiologic approaches. He works in collaboration with colleagues and trainees locally, nationally and internationally through the University of Minnesota, Children's Oncology Group and the Childhood Cancer and Leukemia International Consortium (CLIC).


Financial - No relevant financial relationship exists.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.


Financial - No relevant financial relationship exists.