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Cancer Channel
Reported February 20, 2014

Genetics Play Key Role in Infant Leukemia

(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Infants who develop leukemia seem to inherit a combination of genes that make them highly susceptible to disease, according to new research from Washington University in St. Louis.

Only 160 children are diagnosed with leukemia annually in the U.S., but about half of those with the disease die. Researchers sequenced the genes of diagnosed infants and the genes of 25 healthy infants and found those who develop leukemia had a higher number of genetic variations associated with the disease. Many of these variants are harmless by themselves, but in combination with the other variants, make infants extremely susceptible to the condition.

“Our study suggests that babies with leukemia inherit a strong genetic predisposition to the disease,” senior author Todd Druley, MD, PhD, was quoted as saying. “For each child, both parents carried a few harmful genetic variations in their DNA, and just by chance their child inherited all of these changes.”

For more information, go to: https://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/26529.aspx

SOURCE: Leukemia, February 2014

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