Navigation Links
Genes May Raise Risk of Neuroblastoma in Kids
Date:6/17/2009

Finding sheds light on cause of lethal cancer, expert says,,,,

WEDNESDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have identified a genetic trait that appears to boost the risk that a child will develop an often-fatal cancer that targets the nervous system.

The findings don't point toward a treatment, but they do give scientists more insight into neuroblastoma, said study co-author Dr. John Maris.

"We've learned a lot more about the underlying cause and the biology of the disease," said Maris, director of the Center for Childhood Cancer Research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, in Philadelphia.

Although not well known, neuroblastoma is the second most common form of cancer in children after leukemia, Maris said. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 650 children develop it each year in the United States.

Neuroblastoma strikes young children and infants, and is fatal in about two-thirds of the cases, Maris said.

Tumors develop in the nervous system and can appear along the spine and in the neck, chest and abdomen, he said. Many tumors begin in the adrenal gland, which produces adrenaline in the body.

Most children have an aggressive form of the disease and must be treated with intensive therapy, involving strategies such as chemotherapy, radiation and stem-cell transplants, Maris said.

The disease appears to run in families, but only in about 1 percent of cases, he said. In those cases, a child survives the cancer and grows up to have a child with the disease.

In the new study, researchers looked at genetic samples from hundreds of white children with the disease and compared them with those of children who didn't have it.

They found that a specific "copy number variation" -- a kind of genetic trait -- doubles the chances that a child will develop the cancer. A report on the findings appears in the June 18 issue of Nature.

People inherit half their DNA from their mothers and half from fathers, but errors occur along the way. Human's genetic replication machinery functions, in a sense, like a malfunctioning copy machine that occasionally spits out too many -- or two few -- copies of a page while duplicating a stack of documents.

When DNA is copied incorrectly, the result is known as a copy number variation.

Maris acknowledged that the value of the research is limited. "We hope that some day it may give us information that will lead to new therapy," he said, but the findings won't lead to a genetic test for the illness.

After all, the cancer strikes just one in 7,000 new births, and a doubling of that risk isn't hugely significant, he said.

In the future, however, researchers might better understand how genetic variations work together to cause the cancer. "Once we have that," he said, "we'll have a more precise estimate of the likelihood of developing the disease."

Dr. John S. Yu, director of surgical neuro-oncology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, agreed that the findings hold promise.

"This is a small step of many steps, and potentially a very important step, in determining the cause of a pretty lethal cancer," Yu said.

In another study in the same issue of Nature, researchers from the New York University School of Medicine reported they had discovered a protein receptor on the outer surface of cells that's involved in the spread of leukemia.

Specifically, they looked at T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, which strikes mostly children. Though treatable, the relapse rate for this cancer is high and, once it recurs, it is seldom treatable, experts say, because it invades the brain and spinal cord.

In a study on mice, the researchers found that "if you knock out this receptor, these cells will not go to the brain under any circumstances," study senior author Ioannis Aifantis, co-director of the Cancer Stem Cell Program at the NYU Cancer Institute, said in a statement.

The finding could lead to the development of new drugs that would block the receptor and prevent relapse, the researchers added.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more on neuroblastoma.



SOURCES: John Maris, M.D., director, Center for Childhood Cancer Research, and chief, Division of Oncology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; John S. Yu, M.D., director, surgical neuro-oncology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles; June 18, 2009, Nature; June 17, 2009, news release, New York University Langone Medical Center


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. No Benefit in Testing for Genes Linked to Leg Clots
2. Lifestyle May Counter Blood Pressure Genes
3. MUHC researcher awarded $500,000 to study pathogenesis of infectious disease
4. Dads Genes May Play Greater Role Than Thought
5. A breakthrough in gastric carcinogenesis
6. Innovative New Wellness and Nutrition Program Leverages Latest Understanding of Relationship Between Diet and Genes
7. ThermoGenesis Appoints Chief Executive Officer J. Melville (Mel) Engle to Board of Directors
8. Organogenesis Launches Regenerative Medicine College Scholarship
9. Interleukin Genetics to Present Research Linking Perilipin Genes to Diet Response at the ADA Annual Meeting
10. Research Finds New Crop of Breast Cancer Genes
11. Researchers Spot Genes Linked to Testicular Cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Genes May Raise Risk of Neuroblastoma in Kids
(Date:12/8/2016)... Louis, MS (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... that serve commercial and residential clients in and around the Hancock County area, is ... for the Hancock County Food Pantry. , The Hancock County Food Pantry has worked ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Bill Mull Agencies, a ... in and around central Kansas, is joining the Youth Horizons organization for a ... , Headquartered in Wichita, Youth Horizons works to empower area children from unstable, ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... ... will have the unique opportunity to get hands-on experience in an emergency ... students an immersive experience to gain invaluable, real-life medical skills that are critical ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... Kenall Manufacturing, a leader in sealed healthcare lighting ... MPCNGX is a multi-function, sealed, LED luminaire that meets the needs of everyone in ... it’s needed. , A 2’ x 4’ model features four modes: reading, ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... LA (PRWEB) , ... December 07, 2016 , ... ... used to treat wrinkles and deep lines by smoothing and tightening the skin ... invasive techniques out there to address facial aging with very little downtime, Silhouette ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... Application, Usability - Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... , , ... grow at a CAGR of around 3.2% from 2015 to 2025. ... advancements in extracellular microelectrode arrays and intracellular microelectrodes, research in left-to-right ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 2016 Bodycad announced it has been ... accuracy, reproducibility and speed for 3D constructs via ... bone orthopaedic applications. These patents are critical to ... restorations based on each patient,s distinct anatomy. ... harnesses the world,s first suite of orthopaedic CAD/CAM ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016  A new study ... that the use of opioid therapy to treat chronic ... the likelihood of more harmful consequences, including death. ... M.D., and Zankhana Mehta , M.D., authored the ... on chronic opioid therapy. The study was published in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: