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NTU gene research promises better treatment procedures for children with leukemia
Date:8/14/2014

hildren affected by the disease as clinicians would be able to offer tailored, more specific and less toxic treatments, reducing side effects and even cutting down the number of side effect-related deaths," added Prof Nizetic.

Prof Nizetic's team at LKCMedicine is focusing on Down syndrome to gain a better understanding of the condition, which presents many complex mysteries. In people with Down syndrome, their cells show signs of accelerated ageing and accumulated DNA damage. Paradoxically, they seem to be protected from most common solid tissue cancers in adulthood.

"Some people with Down syndrome appear protected from ageing-related diseases, such as dementia, atherosclerosis and Type II diabetes despite increased risk factors," said Prof Nizetic.

"Studying cells from people with Down syndrome could not only help them lead longer, and healthier lives, but also provide important clues in understanding the general mechanisms of ageing, Alzheimer's dementia, cancer, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and a number of other common conditions, and this has so far not been sufficiently explored."

Moving forward, the NTU research team will be conducting more studies on the findings of the two key genes. This is to see how else they might affect both normal children and children with Down syndrome, who are suffering from this form of leukaemia.

Down Syndrome Association (Singapore) welcomes discovery

Dr Balbir Singh, Advisor and Founding Chairman, Down Syndrome Association (Singapore), hopes that these findings will lead to "a better, less toxic treatment for all children affected by this disease" and welcomed the new research interest in Down syndrome.

"Associations and organisations of parents and carers for people with Down syndrome are very interested in participating in any research that could increase prospects of improving their health, quality of life and inclusion into society," Dr Singh said.

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Contact: Lester Kok
lesterkok@ntu.edu.sg
65-679-06804
Nanyang Technological University
Source:Eurekalert

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