Serum samples from 121 patients in whom malignant disease had been diagnosed, were assayed for precipitins to fungal isolates from leukemia-associated environments. Control sera were from age-, sex-, and race-matched patients with no history of malignant disease. Sera from 36 (30%) malignancy patients and seven (6%) controls yielded a precipitin band to an aflatoxin-producing Aspergillus flavus isolate from a leukemia-associated house χ2, p<0.05%). No significant numbers of precipitins were obtained to either of the other fungal isolates from that and another such house. Although A. fumigatus has frequently been incriminated as a source of infection in patients with malignancy, only 9% of malignancy patients had a precipitin response to it, as did 1.6% of controls. Also, the presence of the precipitins to A. flavus was not connected with past radiation or imunosuppressive therapy. However, among patients with precipitins to A. fumigatus there was a higher death rate in the year following the study. Precipitins to A. flavus may be related to heavy environmental exposure possibly leading to aflatoxin exposure which may contribute to development of malignancy through immunosuppressive effects.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research