The California Childhood Leukemia Study was started in 1995 by Dr. Patricia Buffler at the University of California Berkeley. This study is a case-control study of childhood leukemia. “Case” refers to children newly diagnosed with leukemia at each of the 16 participating hospitals in California. “Control” refers to children without leukemia who are enrolled in the study and serve as a comparison group.

To participate in the study, the case child must:

  • Be under 15 years of age
  • Have no prior cancer diagnosis
  • Live in the state of California at the time of diagnosis
  • Have an English or Spanish-speaking biological parent

For children with leukemia, pre-treatment biological specimens, including bone marrow and peripheral blood, are obtained at the time of diagnosis as part of the routine check-up.  For cases and controls and their mothers, we also collect saliva at the time of the interview. These samples are sent to the study laboratories for analyses to characterize leukemia type, genetic background, and exposure to chemicals that could influence the development of the disease.