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||An approach to studies of cancer subsequent to clusters of chronic fatigue syndrome: use of data from the Nevada State Cancer Registry.
||Levine PH, Atherton M, Fears T, Hoover R
||Clin Infect Dis
||EBP, ITEB, IIB
||Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) has been increasingly associated with immune dysregulation, including depressed natural killer cell activity; this phenomenon is associated with increased susceptibility to cancer. Although anecdotal reports have suggested an association between CFS and cancer, particularly non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and brain cancer, there has been no a priori justification for evaluating such an association and no consideration of relevant parameters, such as length of latent period vs. tumor type. We reviewed data from the Nevada State Cancer Registry subsequent to a reported outbreak of a CFS-like illness in Nevada that occurred during 1984-1986. We concentrated on non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and brain/CNS tumors, with particular emphasis on persons 15-34 and 35-54 years of age. An upward trend in the incidence of brain/CNS tumors, which could be related to a national upward trend for this disease, was noted. No consistent trends were noted for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Because of the difficulties inherent in studies of cancer subsequent to various exposures, we evaluated the methodology for determining an association between outbreaks of CFS-like disease and cancer. We propose several approaches that should be considered in future studies for investigation of possible associations between CFS and cancer, including expected latent periods for specific tumors.