Friday, April 03, 2009

Childhood Leukemia from Common Infections

The Institute of Cancer Research has come out with a study that childhood leukemia may develop from just common infections. Leukemia occurs when large numbers of white blood cells take over the bone marrow, leaving the body unable to produce enough normal blood cells to balance it off. Scientist has identified a molecule, TGF, produced by the body in response to infection that stimulates development of the disease. It triggers multiplication of pre-cancerous stem cells at the expense of healthy counterparts.

The researchers have identified a genetic mutation, a fusion of two genes that actually occurring in the womb that creates pre-leukemic cells that then grow in the bone marrow of the baby that is effectively acting as a time bomb that can stay in the body for up to 15 years that may explode at any given time given the proper trigger which maybe any common infection that the child might acquire during the 15 year period. Better screening process should be developed to better detect the infection before it becomes cancerous.



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