Studies of protein expression as a predictor of relapse, and prevalence of genetic mutations in Guthrie cards in a pediatric leukemic population
Leukaemia is the most common cancer in children and accounts for about 1/3 of all childhood cancers. Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) are the most common sub-types and represents 80 and 15% of all cases respectively. Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), juvenile myelomonocytic leukaemia (JMML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) are more rare and together they account for about 5%. Clinical and biological markers identified in a leukemic child may indicate prognosis and thereby aid in the decision of what therapy to give. The Nordic Society of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology (NOPHO) have protocols for treatment of the different sub-types considering already established prognostic markers.
The aim of this project is to increase the understanding of how specific molecular and genetic processes can contribute to leukemic development in children. The project is divided into two major parts;
In the first part we will analyse protein expression as a predictor of relapse in children treated with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
In the second part we will analyse DNA extracted from Guthrie cards to try to identify cytogenetic aberrations found at diagnosis of ALL.
In summary, our aim is to identify new prognostic markers that could contribute to more intense treatment for those patients that are at risk of relapse. In a biological sense we would like to contribute to increased understanding of the molecular initiation of leukaemia in children.