Magnesium, the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body, has several critically important functions in the body including cell growth, energy production and function of the immune system. There is an increasing interest in the role of magnesium in the pathology of different diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and malignancies. Epidemiologic studies have demonstrated an association between a diet poor in magnesium and an increased risk of developing malignancy. Furthermore, several studies in solid malignancies have shown an association between hypomagnesemia and worse outcomes. However, there is still little known about the role of magnesium in hematologic malignancies in general. The role of magnesium in the immune system has been elucidated in patients with a rare primary immunodeficiency known as XMEN (X-linked immunodeficiency with Magnesium defect, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, and Neoplasia disease). A mutation in a gene that codes for a magnesium transporter found on T cells is responsible for impaired T cell activation and increased risk of developing hematologic malignancies. The discovery of this novel disease has increased our understanding of how magnesium may be associated with malignancies. Yet, further high-quality and well powered studies are still needed to further investigate the role of magnesium in the development of hematologic malignancies.
Lymphoma, Magnesium, Nutrition, XMEN, Leukocyte function