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Down syndrome and leukemia risk explained by genes

| | April 21, 2014

In science, technological advances often serve to deepen medical mysteries, as researchers peel away the next layer of the onion. For nearly a century, doctors have known that children with Down syndrome face a heightened risk of developing acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) — and now they finally know why.

Geneticist Andrew Lane at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute say they’ve discovered the genetic “chain of events” leading to the chromosomal abnormality that is Down syndrome, which in turn leads to the “cellular havoc” of ALL.

“For 80 years, it hasn’t been clear why children with Down syndrome face a sharply elevated risk of ALL,” Lane said in a university press release. “Advances in technology — which make it possible to study blood cells and leukemias that model Down syndrome in the laboratory — have enabled us to make that link.”

Read the full, original story: Down Syndrome’s Link To Leukemia Risk Lies In The Genes, Study Finds

 

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