Genes can indicate which adult leukemia patients will respond to therapy and what the duration of their remission will be, according to a new study published in the April 1, 2004, issue of Blood, the official journal of the American Society of Hematology.
Researchers from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Mass., and the University "La Sapienza" in Rome studied 33 patients that had all been recently diagnosed with adult T-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia (T-ALL), a type of cancer in which the body makes too many T lymphocytes.
"The present study investigates, for the first time, the identification of gene expression profiles associated with both short-term and long-term outcome in adult patients with T-ALL. While approximately 70 percent of pediatric patients with T-ALL have excellent long-term response to intensive chemotherapy, adult patients have a much less favorable outcome. Previously, this poor prognosis of adult T-ALL patients had not been attributed to specific genetic signatures," according to Jerome Ritz, M.D., of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, co-senior author of the study. Robin Foa, M.D., from the University "La Sapienza," also served as senior author.
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