Behind the scenes of genetics, leukemia in Down syndrome

August 8, 2014

Children affected by trisomy 21 (or Down syndrome) are 50 to 500 times more likely to develop leukemia than other children.

A group of geneticists working in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Geneva (UNIGE) focused for many years on the of Down syndrome.

They have sequenced the exome, a specific part of our genome, in a cohort of patients affected both by Down Syndrome and Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (DS-ALL), a type of cancer relative to the cells of the immune system in the .

They were able to sketch an outline of the "genetic identity card" of this disease.

They found that RAS, an important oncogene in many cancers, is involved in the tumorigenesis of one third of DS-ALL cases.

This work is being published in the latest issue of the journal Nature Communications.

Explore further: Unraveling why children with Down syndrome have increased leukemia risk

Related Stories

Genetics of cancer: Non-coding DNA can finally be decoded

July 23, 2014

Cancer is a disease of the genome resulting from a combination of genetic modifications (or mutations). We inherit from our parents strong or weak predispositions to developing certain kinds of cancer; in addition, we also ...

Researchers uncover link between Down syndrome and leukemia

April 20, 2014

Although doctors have long known that people with Down syndrome have a heightened risk of developing acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) during childhood, they haven't been able to explain why. Now, a team of Dana-Farber Cancer ...

Recommended for you

Scientists find new genetic roots of schizophrenia

October 19, 2016

UCLA scientists have made a major advance in understanding the biology of schizophrenia. Using a recently developed technology for analyzing DNA, the scientists found dozens of genes and two major biological pathways that ...

Possible miscarriage gene found: study

October 19, 2016

Scientists said Wednesday they had linked mutations in a specific gene with an increased risk of recurrent miscarriages, offering hopes of better diagnosis and treatment for affected women.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.