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St. Jude finds more than 100 gene variations linked with response to leukemia treatment
Date:1/27/2009

array of antileukemic medications used to treat lymphoblastic leukemia. Pharmacokinetics comprises the various biochemical fates of a drug in the bodyabsorption, distribution throughout the body, breakdown and excretion. In almost all cases, gene variation predicting faster elimination of the drugs from the body was associated with higher levels of MRD, suggesting that higher drug doses may be able to overcome the problem of low drug exposure related to an inherited tendency for fast drug elimination, Relling said.

Overall, 63 of the 102 SNPs were associated with early response to therapy, with relapse or with pharmacokinetics of drugs.

Few of the 102 SNPs the team identified in this study had previously been suggested by other investigators to be likely to affect the outcome of ALL chemotherapy. This suggests the need for further research using whole-genome approaches to identify SNPs that affect how individual patients will respond to chemotherapy, Relling said.

"Our results show the importance of surveying variations in the entire human genome in normal cells from patients, since many such variations can determine the effectiveness of chemotherapy," said Jun Yang, Ph.D., a fellow in the St. Jude Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the paper's first author. "It also showed that our genome-wide approach to identifying such SNPs is useful for identifying genetic variations that can be used to predict treatment outcomes. In the future, such information might help clinicians use drugs more effectively to overcome the patient's own genetic variation and reduce the chance of treatment failure."


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Contact: Summer Freeman
summer.freeman@stjude.org
901-595-3061
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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