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New markers could improve treatment and survival in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia
Date:12/21/2012

This release is available in Spanish.

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, the most common paediatric cancer, has been the subject of study in the PhD thesis of ElixabetLpez.In the work entitled New genetic markers for treatment personalization in paediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, the UPV/EHU biologist has presented new genetic markers that could improve the classification of risk groups and predict treatment toxicity in the patient.That way it would be possible to achieve better personalisation of the treatment.

Over the last few decades survival has increased from 10% to 80%.This improvement has been achieved by using combined therapies and separating the patients into risk groups.For example, stronger treatmentis used in the groups in which a worse response is expected.That way the survival probability in the groups with a poor prognosis is increased, while chemotherapy toxicity in patients with a better prognosis is reduced.

However, the classification of the risk groups, which today is carried out by means of clinical markers, like the number of lymphocytes or age of the patient, and some genetic markers, is not totally exact.For example, some of the patients initially considered as lower risk do not respond well to the treatment and in the middle of their treatment their therapy is changed to that of greater risk.In these cases, "survival could be improved as the condition would be treated more intensively right from the start," points out Lpez.

On the other hand, children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia receive very strong doses of chemotherapy, and toxicity problems, which can be very serious, often occur.What is more, "as they are children and the toxicity can leave them with sequelae for the rest of their lives, it is quite important to try and prevent it," says Lpez.Currently, there is no toxicity marker that is used in a
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Contact: Aitziber Lasa
a.lasa@elhuyar.com
34-943-363-040
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Source:Eurekalert  

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