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Discover the causes of leukaemia in children
Federal Office for Radiation Protection gathers international experts
Year of issue 2016
- With the organisation of an international expert workshop, BfS seeks to advance the research into causes of leukaemia in children.
- From 14 to 16 November 2016, paediatricians, radiation protection experts, epidemiologists, geneticists and other researchers gathered in Munich, on invitation of BfS, in order to share research results and current knowledge in their disciplines.
- The aim was to determine new starting points for the investigation of causes and to advance research strategies.
With the organisation of an international expert workshop, the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) seeks to advance the research into causes of leukaemia in children. Scientists suspect numerous causes of leukaemia in children – including not only infections and pesticides but also low doses of radioactivity and low-frequency magnetic fields used for power supply. In spite of various approaches and first insights, extensive research is still required because there is insufficient knowledge of the causes of leukaemia.
"We assume that the mechanisms triggering leukaemia are very complex", says BfS speaker Anja Lutz.
"That's why we need intensive interdisciplinary and international cooperation in order to gain deeper understanding of the development of leukaemia in children."
While leukaemia is one of the most frequent cancers in children under the age of 15, it is rather rare compared with other diseases: One out of 10,000 children develops leukaemia.
"It is essential to investigate as many comparable cases as possible and compare them with the data of children who are not ill, only then will studies yield meaningful results. This large required number of cases makes it necessary to collaborate with partners in Germany and other countries", says Anja Lutz, stressing the importance of scientific cooperations.
"We also need the international comparative data in order to identify the influence of environmental factors, such as air and water pollution, or the way of living."
5th International workshop for research into the causes of leukaemia in children
From 14 to 16 November 2016, paediatricians, radiation protection experts, epidemiologists, geneticists and other researchers gathered in Munich, on invitation of BfS, in order to share research results and current knowledge in their disciplines. The aim was to determine new starting points for the investigation of causes and to advance research strategies.
This workshop is already the fifth occasion for BfS to assemble international experts studying the causes of leukaemia in children. There are two reasons for the BfS initiative: Firstly, scientific investigations suggest a potential correlation between low-frequency magnetic fields used for power supply and the risk of leukaemia in children. Secondly, the discussions follow up on the so-called KIKK study: This study from 2007 shows a significantly increased risk of developing leukaemia for children under the age of 5 living in close proximity to a nuclear power plant. In both cases, there is no scientifically reliable explanation for the causes of the illness.
State of 2016.11.11