Epidemics of Hodgkin’s Disease

  • J. N. P. Davies
Part of the Recent Results in Cancer Research book series (RECENTCANCER, volume 39)


The purpose of this meeting I am informed is to discuss recent work and developments. In March of this year I did not believe epidemics of Hodgkin’s Disease existed. I am speaking of work done since March by my colleagues and myself. I am a classic old fashioned morbid anatomist interested in the epidemiology of cancer. Dr. GREENWALD is Director of the New York State Health Departments Cancer Bureau which registers cancer in the state excluding the metropolitan area of New York City. The catalyst was my young colleague Dr. Nicholas Vianna who is a physician with special interests in infectious disease and he persuaded us to join him in a community study of Hodgkin’s Disease. He pointed out that many had noted that Hodgkin’s Disease had some of the features of an infectious disease. He had the startlingly simple idea of studying the disease in the community as if it were an infectious disease [1, 2, 3]. That chance sometimes favours the unprepared mind is shown by the fact that on April 10th this year we published a paper [2] in which we said “There has been no satisfactory evidence of clustering and the low familial and close case concentration are well established”. How wrong we were for the day after the proofs of this paper were sent for publication a colleague referred us to an epidemic of Hodgkin’s Disease right in our own city and when our findings were publicized [4] we soon found ourselves with more epidemic situations on hand than time has allowed us to investigate fully. However, we have investigated three such situations and all show exactly the same features.


English Teacher Histiocytic Sarcoma Young Colleague Case Transmission Acute Lymphatic Leukemia 
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  1. 1.
    VIANNA, N. J., GREENWALD, P., DAVIES, J. N. P.: Tonsillectomy and Hodgkin’s Disease: The Lymphoid Tissue Barrier. Lancet 1971 1, 431.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    VIANNA, N. J., GREENWALD, P., DAVIES, J. N. P.: Nature of the Hodgkin’s Disease Agent. Lancet 1971 1, 733.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    VIANNA, N. J., GREENWALD, P., POLAN, A., DAVIES, J. N. P.: Epidemiologic Survey of Hodgkin’s Disease in Children and Young Adults. In Preparation. 1972.Google Scholar
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    VIANNA, N. J.,GREENWALD, P., BRADY, J., DWORK, A., POLAN, A., MAURO, T., DAVIES, J. N. P.: Hodgkin’s Disease: Cases with Features of a Community Outbreak. Ann. Int. Med. 77,169–180 (1972).PubMedGoogle Scholar
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    LUKES, R. J., BUTLER, J. J., HICKS, E. B.: Natural History of Hodgkin’s Disease as related to its Pathologic Picture. Cancer (N.Y.) 19, 317 (1966).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. N. P. Davies
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PathologyAlbany Medical College of Union UniversityAlbanyUSA

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