Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Gene expression profiling may lead to customized treatments for pediatric leukemia patients

06.10.2003


Gene expression profiling can help doctors accurately identify subtypes of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), according to the October 15, 2003, issue of Blood, the official journal of the American Society of Hematology. Diagnosing a subtype of ALL can allow physicians to customize a treatment program based on a patient’s likelihood of responding to therapy.



Pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia has a number of subtypes, each with unique cellular and molecular characteristics. Since the subtype may also imply a less favorable prognosis, it is critical to diagnose each individual patient’s subtype so that therapy can be tailored to reduce the chance of a relapse. ALL patients currently have a 70 to 80 percent chance of surviving the disease, but the odds of survival decrease following a relapse.

ALL subtypes are used to assign patients to risk groups. Risk group assignment is an important element of cancer care because it allows physicians to avoid overtreating patients who are at low risk of relapse, while ensuring optimal treatment for patients with a high risk of relapse. Patients are currently classified into risk groups based on factors such as age and gender, white blood cell count, the presence or absence of leukemia in cerebral spinal fluid, and genetic characteristics of the leukemic cells. These risk features were identified from epidemiological studies and have resulted in excellent overall long-term survival rates, but gene expression profiling may provide an even more precise profile of a patient’s disease.


Researchers from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., utilized DNA microarray technology to study the pattern of genes expressed in a leukemic cell. DNA microarrays, also called gene chips, contain copies of known gene samples from the human body. Researchers used the Affymetrix HG-U133A and B microarrays to identify the set of human genes expressed in samples of cells taken from 132 pediatric ALL patients.

Computer-aided data analysis demonstrated that the pediatric ALL cases cluster into seven major subtypes, including the six known prognostic subtypes (BCR-ABL, E2A-PBX1, Hyperdiploid >50, MLL, T-ALL, and TEL-AML1) and an "other" category. The researchers were successful in using the expression profiles provided by the microarrays to accurately diagnose and subclassify pediatric ALL, and they discovered that changes in a cell’s expression profile vary markedly depending on the genetic lesions that underlie the initiation of the leukemic process.

"DNA expression profiling allows us to make extremely accurate diagnoses. If microarray technology can be implemented in a cost-effective manner, we may see a day when all leukemia patients undergo expression profiling and then have a unique treatment plan customized for them based on which genes are turned on and which are turned off in his or her leukemia cells," according to James R. Downing, M.D., of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the senior author of the study.

Microarray technology also can reveal the mutated genes that cause cancer to develop, the first step in designing treatments that target the cause of the disease, not just the symptoms. If physicians can target and repair the damaged DNA, they may be able to stop cancer from progressing.

According to hematologist George Daley, M.D., Ph.D., of Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, "Microarray studies of human leukemia have been at the forefront of efforts to exploit the human genome project to better diagnose and treat cancer, and have set the stage for similar insights into common solid tumors like breast and prostate cancer."


This work was supported in part by National Cancer Institute grants P01 CA71907-06 (JRD), CA-21765 (Cancer Center CORE grant to SJCRH), T32-CA70089, and by the American Lebanese and Syrian Associated Charities (ALSAC) of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

To receive a copy of the study or to arrange an interview with James R. Downing, M.D., please contact Aislinn Raedy at 202-776-0544 or araedy@hematology.org.

The American Society of Hematology is the world’s largest professional society concerned with the causes and treatment of blood disorders. Its mission is to further the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting blood, bone marrow, and the immunologic, hemostatic, and vascular systems, by promoting research, clinical care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology.

Blood, the official journal of the American Society of Hematology, is the most cited peer-reviewed publication in the field. Blood is issued to Society members and other subscribers twice per month, available in print and online at www.bloodjournal.org.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. Founded by late entertainer Danny Thomas and based in Memphis, Tenn., St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. No family ever pays for treatments not covered by insurance, and families without insurance are never asked to pay. St. Jude is financially supported by ALSAC, its fund-raising organization. For more information, please visit www.stjude.org.

Aislinn Raedy | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hematology.org/
http://www.stjude.org
http://www.bloodjournal.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht High speed video recording precisely measures blood cell velocity
15.11.2017 | ITMO University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>