Navigation Links
Study examines genetic defects linked to body abnormalities in patients with childhood cancer

Children with cancer have a higher prevalence of body abnormalities, such as asymmetric lower limbs and curvature of the spine, suggesting that the genetic defect responsible for the abnormality may play a role in the development of cancer, according to a study in the January 2 issue of JAMA.

Certain genetic syndromes can be associated with an increased risk for tumor and cancer development in children. Several studies have shown that developmental genes, which play a role in body plan formation during embryogenesis, are also involved in the development of cancer, according to background information in the article.

Johannes H. M. Merks, M.D., Ph.D., of Emma Childrens Hospital, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a study to assess the prevalence of morphological (body structure) abnormalities in a large group of childhood cancer patients. The study, conducted between January 2000 and March 2003, included 1,073 patients who underwent a physical examination for morphological abnormalities (such as differing length in limbs; broad hands or feet; prominent ears; curvature of the spine). The patient group consisted of 898 long-term survivors of childhood cancer and 175 newly diagnosed pediatric patients with cancer. The control group consisted of 1,007 schoolchildren examined in an identical way. The average ages of patients and controls were 21.2 and 10.4 years, respectively.

The researchers found that both major abnormalities and minor anomalies were significantly more prevalent in the pediatric cancer group (per 1,000 cases, patients had 268 major abnormalities and controls had 155 abnormalities). One or more major abnormalities were present in 26.8 percent of individual patients (15.5 percent in controls), two or more abnormalities in 5.1 percent of patients (1.6 percent in controls), and three or more abnormalities were found in 0.9 percent compared with none in controls.

One or more minor anomalies were found in 65.1 percent of individual patients (56.2 percent in controls), two or more minor anomalies in 32.8 percent of patients (22.1 percent in controls), and three or more minor anomalies were found in 15.2 percent of patients compared with 8.3 percent in controls.

In 42 patients (3.9 percent), an established clinical genetic syndrome was diagnosed. Analysis showed 14 age-independent morphological abnormalities that were independently and significantly associated with childhood cancer. For two of these (blepharophimosis [eyelid abnormalities] and asymmetric lower limbs), the researchers identified statistically significant patterns of co-occurring morphological abnormalities suggestive of new tumor predisposition syndromes. Thirty-four patients fit one of the two tumor predisposition patterns.

We conclude that the high incidence of single and combined morphological abnormalities in pediatric patients with cancer indicates that constitutional genetic defects play a more important role in pediatric oncogenesis than is currently estimated. Furthermore, the detection of patterns of morphological abnormalities allows identification of new tumor predisposition syndromes, the authors write.


Contact: Johannes H. M. Merks, M.D., Ph.D.
JAMA and Archives Journals

Related biology news :

1. Childhood obesity indicates greater risk of school absenteeism, Penn study reveals
2. A study by the MUHC and McGill University opens a new door to understanding cancer
3. Study begins to reveal clues to the cause and progression of sepsis
4. Clones on task serve greater good, evolutionary study shows
5. New study warns limited carbon market puts 20 percent of tropical forest at risk
6. New study examines how rearing environment can alter navigation
7. Study links cat disease to flame retardants in furniture and to pet food
8. New continent and species discovered in Atlantic study
9. Study shows link between alcohol consumption and hiv disease progression
10. Feeling hot, hot, hot: New study suggests ways to control fever-induced seizures
11. Study finds environmental tests help predict hospital-acquired Legionnaires disease risk
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/2/2016)... 2016 The Department of Transport Management ... 44 million US Dollar project, for the , ... Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure , to ... and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous renowned international vendors ... Decatur was selected for the most compliant and ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... patient care by providing unparalleled technology to leaders of the medical imaging industry.  As ... added to the range of products distributed by Ampronix. Photo - ... ... ... ...
(Date:5/9/2016)... Elevay is currently known as ... for high net worth professionals seeking travel for work ... world, there is still no substitute for a face-to-face ... your deal with a firm handshake. This is why ... of citizenship via investment programs like those offered by ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical , an ... designed to target cancer stemness pathways, announced that ... Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and ... cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin is ... inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Calif. , June 23, 2016  The Prostate Cancer Foundation ... increasingly precise treatments and faster cures for prostate cancer. Members of the Class ... across 15 countries. Read More About the Class of ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... In a new case report published ... how a patient who developed lymphedema after being treated for breast cancer benefitted from ... the paradigm for dealing with this debilitating, frequent side effect of cancer treatment. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ClinCapture, the only ... Center and will showcase its product’s latest features from June 26 to June ... scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during the conference. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: