Monday, August 25, 2008

Gene found for rare and deadly childhood cancer

News out of CHOP...

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Researchers have found a gene that causes most inherited forms of neuroblastoma, a rare and deadly form of childhood cancer, and say the discovery points to new treatments.

Mutations in a gene called ALK were strongly linked to neuroblastoma, the researchers from the United States, Italy and Belgium reported on Sunday. They said several companies already are working on drugs that target this gene, which is also mutated in some cases of lung cancer and lymphoma.

"This discovery enables us to offer the first genetic tests to families affected by the inherited form of this disease," said Dr. Yael Mosse of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, who worked on the study.

"Furthermore, because there already are drugs in development that target the same gene in adult cancers, we can soon begin testing those drugs in children with neuroblastoma."

link to full article

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