Study finds no cancer cluster at Auburn, despite reports

Alabama health officials announced Wednesday that a study did not find evidence of an eye cancer cluster at Auburn University, despite a rash of reported cases of the rare and deadly cancer that drew national attention earlier this year.

Posted: Oct 25, 2018 10:04 AM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama health officials announced Wednesday that a study did not find evidence of an eye cancer cluster at Auburn University, despite a rash of reported cases of the rare and deadly cancer that drew national attention earlier this year.

The Alabama Department of Public Health said the study "based on the best available information" did not find higher than expected rates of uveal melanoma among former students and university employees. The study conducted with Auburn University came after a number of cases of the rare cancer were reported among former students.

Justin T. George, director of cancer epidemiology, said the study looked at identified cases among people who attended or worked at Auburn since 1980.

Allyson Allred, who has been battling the cancer since 2001, has worked to connect other survivors who lived in Auburn.

"The fact that Auburn University and the Alabama Department of Health are not calling (it) a cluster doesn't change the fact that too many people are dying from this disease and we must find the cause so we can find the cure," Allred said.

From 2006 through 2015, there were 316 cases of uveal melanoma among Alabama residents for an average of 31.6 new cases each year, the department said.

A limitation of the Auburn study is that cancer registries across the country do not capture where a person attended college. Researchers used a list of Auburn University students and employees that had reported being diagnosed with this disease.

Allred said a task force submitted about three dozen names. The health department said 17 people met the criteria to be included in the study.

George said researchers remain comfortable in the finding. He said the cancer would have to occur in substantially higher numbers to qualify as a cluster.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319381

Reported Deaths: 7354
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22264265
Hinds20634421
Harrison18381316
Rankin13862282
Jackson13677248
Madison10234224
Lee10050176
Jones8458167
Forrest7821153
Lauderdale7257242
Lowndes6498149
Lamar633688
Lafayette6298120
Washington5418136
Bolivar4835133
Panola4663110
Oktibbeha466098
Pearl River4597146
Marshall4572105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc424973
Monroe4155135
Union415576
Neshoba4059179
Lincoln4007111
Hancock386087
Leflore3515125
Tate342386
Sunflower339391
Pike3366110
Alcorn324172
Scott319374
Yazoo314171
Itawamba305077
Adams304885
Copiah299766
Coahoma298383
Simpson298189
Tippah291568
Prentiss283561
Leake271774
Marion271280
Covington267083
Wayne264442
Grenada264087
George251951
Newton248563
Tishomingo231267
Winston229981
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210459
Holmes190374
Clay187554
Stone187433
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174032
Yalobusha167840
Smith164034
Walthall135247
Greene131833
Lawrence131024
Montgomery128643
Noxubee127934
Perry126638
Amite126142
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Tunica108027
Jefferson Davis107833
Claiborne103030
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96628
Franklin85023
Quitman81816
Choctaw79018
Wilkinson69332
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 547873

Reported Deaths: 11274
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson809141565
Mobile41984826
Madison35629523
Tuscaloosa26147458
Shelby25580254
Montgomery25075611
Baldwin21805313
Lee16248175
Calhoun14710325
Morgan14618285
Etowah14160362
Marshall12446230
Houston10757288
Elmore10292212
Limestone10179157
St. Clair10155250
Cullman9928200
Lauderdale9591248
DeKalb8963189
Talladega8455184
Walker7330280
Autauga7229113
Blount6937139
Jackson6905113
Colbert6406139
Coffee5622126
Dale4929114
Russell454541
Chilton4470116
Franklin430783
Covington4267122
Tallapoosa4127154
Escambia401180
Chambers3723123
Dallas3606156
Clarke352861
Marion3237106
Pike313978
Lawrence3124100
Winston283272
Bibb267664
Geneva257081
Marengo250665
Pickens236662
Barbour234559
Hale226678
Butler223771
Fayette217762
Henry193743
Cherokee187245
Randolph186944
Monroe179141
Washington170439
Macon162951
Clay160159
Crenshaw155157
Cleburne153144
Lamar146237
Lowndes142053
Wilcox127030
Bullock124242
Conecuh113230
Coosa111429
Perry108726
Sumter105732
Greene93434
Choctaw61725
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