New Study Changes View about the Genetics of Leukemia Risk
News Oct 15, 2013
In the past few years researchers have identified the crucial role of the gene TET2 in keeping blood cells healthy. Mutations of the gene have been found in about 20% of leukemias and indicate a poor prognosis for patients. However, the gene was thought to be irrelevant in 80% of leukemia cases.
The new study changes this view. The researchers identified the agents that could be responsible for many leukemias without TET2 mutation — a host of microRNAs from the large expanse of DNA that do not code for proteins. They found that patients with large numbers of these microRNAs are more likely to have impaired TET2 function, even without a known mutation, and are thus likely to have aggressive forms of cancer.
This knowledge could help doctors develop a course of treatment for leukemia patients, said Jun Lu, assistant professor of genetics, researcher in the Yale Stem Cell Center and Yale Cancer Center, and senior author of the paper.
Lu points out that half of leukemia patients who lack these markers may be spared side effects of aggressive treatments.
“If these markers are absent and TET2 gene is not mutated, then the 50% of leukemia patients without this marker would be spared harsher treatment such as high-dose chemotherapy or bone marrow transplants,” Lu said.
New therapies that could block these microRNAs could in theory help treat blood cancers, he said.
“However, there is currently no good way to do that, but it is a problem I am very hopeful will be resolved,” Lu said.
CRISPR Reveals New Targets for Promising Cancer DrugsNews
Novel screening method identifies new drug targets that could potentially enhance the effectiveness of PD-1 checkpoint inhibitors, a promising new class of cancer immunotherapy.READ MORE
Potential Barcode Identified for a Form of Alcoholic Liver DiseaseNews
NIAAA-supported researchers have discovered that extracellular vesicles released by liver cells in a mouse model of alcoholic steatohepatitis contain a miRNA signature detectable in the blood.READ MORE
Comments | 0 ADD COMMENT
EMBL Course: Next Generation Sequencing: RNA Sequencing Library Preparation
Apr 23 - Apr 27, 2018
EMBO Practical Course: Microbial Metagenomics: A 360º Approach
Apr 23 - Apr 30, 2018
EMBL Course: Next Generation Sequencing: Whole Genome Sequencing Library Preparation
Apr 16 - Apr 20, 2018
EMBL Course: Introduction to Next Generation Sequencing
Apr 09 - Apr 12, 2018