New Israeli research that links childhood leukemia to a protein mutation found in adults with a common blood disorder holds out hope of a cure. Israeli researchers have discovered a vital new link between childhood leukemia and a protein mutation that leads to a blood disorder in adults. The discovery holds out hope for a possible new treatment for children suffering from blood cancer. A drug now in clinical trials for the adult disorder could also prove effective in treating a similar mutation in children with leukemia.
Every year around 4,500 children in America are diagnosed with leukemia, according to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, making it the most common childhood cancer. For most children who receive this diagnosis, the prognosis is good. Around 80 percent of them will recover and go on to lead healthy lives. For 20%, however, the illness will prove deadly.
One protein mutation links to various disorders
Dr. Shai Izraeli, of Tel Aviv University's Sackler School of Medicine and Sheba Medical Center first began research into this field when he and his team discovered a mutation of the JAK2 protein in patients with Down syndrome. Izraeli's discovery was published recently in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet.
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