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Scientists link genetic glitches to common childhood cancer
Date:8/17/2009

tions, the researchers analyzed the genetic makeup of about 400 children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. After numerous tests, the researchers discovered two variations in tiny strands of DNA known as single-nucleotide polymorphisms that pointed to an increased risk for the disease and were also linked to the B-hyperdiploid subtype.

"If a patient has B-hyperdiploid ALL and has the genetic variation then we can at least project that this patient will do well," Devidas said. "Not that all patients do well, but if they have it the chances are higher."

Nearly one-quarter of children with cancer have ALL, National Cancer Institute statistics show. The disease occurs when abnormal white blood cells flood a person's bone marrow, killing the normal white blood cells needed to fight infections. Because of scientific research, the survival rate for this form of leukemia is around 85 percent, up from 5 percent in the 1960s, according to the National Cancer Institute.


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Contact: April Frawley Birdwell
afrawley@ufl.edu
352-273-5817
University of Florida
Source:Eurekalert

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