Washington: Researchers from the Children`s Hospital of Philadelphia, in collaboration with the Children`s Oncology Group, have identified specific genes, dubbed partner genes, which fuse with another gene to drive an often-fatal form of leukemia in infants.By more accurately defining specific partner genes, Blaine W. Robinson, a research scientist at The Children`s Hospital of Philadelphia, and his colleagues expect to better predict which infants may benefit from particular treatments.
On the other hand, outcomes were better for infants with ALL when the third most common partner gene, AF9, fused to MLL, or when the MLL gene was unaffected. In these patients, the respective EFS rates were 68 and 66 percent.The researchers also analysed white blood cell counts (WBC)-another classic prognostic factor in leukemia. They found that when MLL was fused to AF4, the infants were far more likely to have higher WBC, while the WBC was lower when MLL fused to AF9.More refined knowledge of how the different partner genes of MLL in infant ALL are connected to the underlying molecular biology of the disease may guide the researchers to more appropriate treatment decisions.The findings will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology on Dec. 8. ANI
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