Sunday, September 29, 2013

Recent Research Strides in Childhood Cancer

ALL genetic cause - researchers at the University of Washington have officially identified an aberrant gene PAX5 as a cause for pre-B cell ALL, the most common form of childhood cancer worldwide. This will allow for genetic screening of families, as well as targeted genetic treatments.
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Incurable Cancers Clinical Trial - A first ever clinical trial aimed to study childhood cancers that are considered incurable is underway.  The trial is not, however, to test a new drug.  The trial will use high level genetic and chemical analysis to determine which current drugs will be most effective to treat the child's specific tumor makeup.
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Reducing toxicity in blood cancer treatments - new genetic testing may be used to asses the potential toxicity of various chemotherapies in children.  Doctors will also be able to better predict responses to treatments by using genetic assays.
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Mutation in Low Grade Gliomas - a mutation in diffuse low grade gliomas could offer insight into treatment of these tumors, which are diagnosed in 1000 children annually.  These tumors, while being slow growing and treatable with surgury, often recur and spread, and can mutate easily into glioblastomas, which are often lethal.
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