Genetic research doubles leukaemia survival rate

on March 16 | in Australian News, Genetics, Haematology, Latest News, Leukaemia, News | by | with No Comments

mother and chileUP TO 40 children would be dead today if not for Sydney researchers who have doubled the cure rate for one of the most aggressive childhood cancers.

The researchers developed a genetic test that detects minute amounts of residual leukaemia in the bone marrow of children thought to be responding to treatment. Now doctors can predict a relapse in a child years before it occurs, allowing them to treat the disease more aggressively.

Deputy director of the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia Murray Norris said the previous method of using a microscope to detect residual leukaemia usually found one abnormal cell among 50 normal ones.

”But this individualised test enables us to pick up the equivalent of one leukaemia cell in up to a million normal cells, so we can pick up very sensitive cancer cells early and detect whether that child is at high risk of relapse,” Professor Norris said. ”This testing is now considered part of standard care, and our test results are routinely used to guide treatment decisions in clinics across the country.”

The pioneering clinical trial began a decade ago and was led by the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead…Read more

Source: www.smh.com.au

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