Researchers Identify Gene Abnormality That May Predict Leukemia Relapse

by: cancercompass

Researchers have identified an abnormal gene that could help predict the likelihood of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) relapse in children.

According to a recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine:

"Cure rates among children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) now exceed 80%, but current therapies have substantial toxic effects, and up to 20% of patients with ALL have a relapse after initial therapy."

Researchers found that mutations of a gene known as IKZF1, in addition to an absence of the gene, were significantly associated with an increased risk of ALL relapse.

Authors of the Children's Oncology Group study, led by scientists from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, say further research is required to completely understand how changes in IKZF1 lead to leukemia relapse.

However, study authors also noted that these findings may provide the basis for future diagnostic tests that assess the risk of cancer treatment failure.