Adult T cell leukaemia/lymphoma in Kerala, South India: are we staring at the tip of the iceberg?

“Adult T cell leukaemia/lymphoma in Kerala, South India: are we staring at the tip of the iceberg?” Rekha A. Nair,

Priya Mary Jacob, Sreejith G. Nair, Shruti Prem, A. V. Jayasudha, Nair P. Sindhu, K. R. Anila

Journal of Hematopathology

September 2013, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 135-144

First online: 02 August 2013


This study comes from Regional Cancer Centre, Trivandrum, in the state of Kerala, South India. Regional Cancer Centre is a comprehensive cancer centre catering to the population of the State of Kerala and the adjoining states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. This study is an analysis of leukaemic phase, nodal and extranodal presentations of adult T cell leukaemia/lymphoma (ATLL) in our institute. This study aims to document the alarming incidence of ATLL in this part of South India. This study includes 32 cases, which were diagnosed as compatible with ATLL over a period of 26 months.Our diagnostic approach to a typical case starts with a detailed history, clinical examination with emphasis on skin lesions,evaluation of laboratory findings especially seurm calcium and lactate dehydrogenase values. A peripheral blood examination would be followed by ancillary tests like flow cytometric immunophenotyping of peripheral blood or histopathological examination with immunostaining of submitted tissue biopsy. The last step is the confirmatory serology test for serum human T cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) antibody. We report for the first time from the state of Kerala, South India, 15 patients with HTLV-1-positive ATLL. This high incidence of ATLL in our state population hitherto not reported is worrisome and entails routine screening for serum HTLV-1 before invasive procedures and among voluntary blood donors in our population.” end quote. Bold added.

Once again, we have a “first time reported” matter.  The school of hormesis claims it is thoroughly familiar with the area in question and is certain that evidence of hormesis and benefits are plain to see in Kerala.

No, it is not plain to see.  In fact the current records flatly contradicts hormesis and the statements it has broadcast in relation to Kerala for many, many decades.

The claimed benefits of hormesis, when put to the real world test, fail.  If radiation has stimulated the human organism to resist disease, why does NHBRA of southern India reveal such an excess of cancer type diseases. In the case radiation played no role in this crisis, where is the claimed benefit, disease resistance? Nowhere to be seen in the real world of Kerala.