Letter: Leukaemia's causes

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Your article "Found: the cause of leukaemia" is sadly misleading. The possible link between the mixing of populations and the onset of leukaemia in children by known or yet to be discovered viruses is recycled news.

The hypothesis is certainly plausible. So plausible in fact that a five year national study into the causes of childhood leukaemia has just been completed and the results will soon be reported.

Sadly there is a massive difference between claiming that a virus can cause leukaemia and proving it. The Leukaemia Research Fund commits over pounds 2m annually to research in the hunt for such a virus.

We would dearly like to celebrate with you. Unfortunately the news is premature and requires more painstaking detective work before there is a real story to tell.


Scientific Director

Leukaemia Research Fund

London WC1