The LEAF Program is a family case-control study of the risk factors for follicular lymphoma in both Victoria and NSW. The LEAF study is led by A/Prof Claire Vajdic from the University of NSW.
Many epidemiological studies of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) have been conducted, but the cause of most cases has been poorly understood. There's some evidence that risk factors vary for different NHL subtypes. Follicular lymphoma (FL) is the second most common NHL subtype in Caucasian populations.
FLs and other NHL subtypes are characterised by a genetic abnormality known as a translocation, which is a rearrangement of parts of the chromosome. This is believed to lead to an inhibition of programmed cell death (apoptosis) and prolonged survival and expansion of the affected Bcells.
Individual NHL case-control and cohort studies have had insufficient FL case numbers to reliably examine risk. Recently, large-scale pooled analyses by NHL subtype have been performed using both traditional population and hospital-based case-control study data.