Summary

There is still a general lack of knowledge regarding the etiology of acute leukemia; however, recent progress has been made. First, molecularly defined subgroups have been identified, which likely have different etiologies (e.g., infants with leukemia, adults with APL, and children with hyperdiploidy ALL). Second, direct measures of exposure have been incorporated in several recent studies (e.g., EMFs, radon), which can help reduce bias. Lastly, collection of biological specimens has provided preliminary evidence that genetic susceptibility may be important. Future epidemiological studies that build upon this recent progress should help lead us to a better understanding of the etiology of acute leukemia.

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