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Genetic Subtype of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Has Poor Prognosis (Interview with Dr. Monique den Boer, PhD, Erasmus University Medical Center)
Genetic Subtype of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Has Poor Prognosis (Interview with Dr. Monique den Boer, PhD, Erasmus University Medical Center)

(January 9, 2009 - Insidermedicine) Researchers have discovered a genetic subtype of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) that is associated with a poor prognosis, according to research published in The Lancet Oncology.

Here is some information on ALL:

•    It is the most common cancer of childhood.

•    It is a cancer of the white blood cells.

•    Symptoms of ALL are very general and include pallor, fatigue, and infections.

Researchers from Erasmus University Medical Centre developed a method for classifying genetic subtypes of ALL by studying the genetic makeup of nearly 200 children with ALL. They confirmed the accuracy of this method by testing it on over 100 other children with ALL.

The classification system identified 44 children with a unique genetic makeup similar but not exactly the same as a genetic subtype of ALL associated with poor prognosis. Children with this subtype were twice as likely to experience relapses of their condition than a comparison group and had a relatively poor 5-year survival rate.

We had a chance to speak with Dr. Monique den Boer, the principal investigator of this study, who offered some further insight.

Today's research identifies a group of patients with ALL who could benefit from more intensive therapies and/or treatments that target the genetic abnormalities associated with their condition.

For Insidermedicine in 60, I'm Dr. Susan Sharma.

 
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