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New genes involved in acute lymphoblastic leukemia play fundamental role in prognosis of the disease
Date:2/6/2009

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Subgroup with worst prognosis

With this research a set of 13 microRNAs was identified which showed up as epigenetically regulated in 65% of the patients studied with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, according to Doctor Prsper. Epigenetic regulation is the modulation of the genes expression that does not depend on changes in the sequence of the genetic code and the influence of which in cancer is increasingly being demonstrated. They are, thus, reversible changes in the DNA that manage to get the genes to be expressed or not (to be activated or silent) depending on external conditions.

In the subgroup of patients amongst which this set of genes appears as regulated, it was shown that, although these patients initially responded to treatment, they were the ones who with greater frequency subsequently suffered relapse, disimprove and present the worst prognosis and survival rates. These are the patients amongst whom the disease is much more resistant to treatment and amongst whom a silencing of the expression of the microRNAs is produced, according to the specialist.

Most efficacious pharmaceutical drugs

Given these result, Doctor Prsper concludes that epigenetic regulation plays a fundamental role in the development of this disease. Moreover, he points out, it would seem that the most recent pharmaceutical drugs, capable of producing epigenetic alterations, can be effective in 65% of patients who respond worst to conventional therapies for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.


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Contact: Oihane Lakar
oihane@elhuyar.com
34-943-363-040
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Source:Eurekalert  

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