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 Unique brain 'fingerprint' can predict drug effectiveness
11.07.2018 | McGill University

nachricht Direct conversion of non-neuronal cells into nerve cells
03.07.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

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: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Research finds new molecular structures in boron-based nanoclusters

13.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

Algae Have Land Genes

13.07.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>