Overview of the LEAF Study

The Lymphoma, Environment and Family (LEAF) Study is examining factors that increase the risk of follicular lymphoma, one of the most common types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. 

Researchers at the University of NSW and Cancer Council Victoria led this multi-state study which recruited people newly diagnosed with follicular lymphoma and their sibling or partner. Participants kindly completed questionnaires and gave a blood or saliva sample.

The data analyses are being led by Dr Michael Odutola who is enrolled in a PhD program at the University of New South Wales. Dr Odutola has a medical degree and, prior to studying in Australia, led research on cancer and HIV in Nigeria. Dr Odutola is examining several factors that may be related to the development of follicular lymphoma, and also survival after cancer diagnosis. These include cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, excess body weight and exposure to specific chemicals and radiation in the workplace. He will also consider early-life factors, dietary patterns and sun exposure. We look forward to sharing the results from this work with you as soon as they are available.

DNA has been extracted from the blood and saliva specimens and is being analysed by the United States National Cancer Institute as part of a global study which aims to identify whether there are certain genetic mutations that predispose people to develop follicular lymphoma.

Together, the questionnaire and genetic data will help us to better understand why follicular lymphoma occurs in some people and not others, and it may inform cancer prevention campaigns and help identify improved treatments for this malignancy.