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Both inherited traits and tumor mutations affect response to treatment of leukemia

rchers made their discovery in a study of genes in both normal and leukemic cells from 246 children with ALL. A total of 116 of patients constituted the lower-risk group and 130 were in the higher-risk group. Patients in the higher-risk group who had both the GSTM1 non-null polymorphism and the TYMS 3/3 polymorphism were 14 times more likely to relapse than patients who inherited other gene polymorphisms at GSTM1 and TYMS. None of the originally targeted 16 polymorphisms, including GSTM1 and TYMS were linked to risk of failure in the lower-risk group.

The researchers concluded that GSTM1 and TYMS, are likely linked to resistance to specific cancer drugs, and that treatment of ALL might be improved in higher-risk patients if therapies were modified to take these inherited risk factors into account.

Other authors of this paper are Cheng Cheng, Wei Liu, Shinji Kishi, John T. Sandlund, Jeffrey Rubnitz, Raul Ribeiro, Dario Campana, Ching-Hon Pui and William E. Evans (St. Jude) and Soma Das and Edwin H. Cook (University of Chicago).


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Contact: Bonnie Cameron
bonnie.cameron@stjude.org
901-495-4815
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
2-Mar-2005


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