Leukemia is one of the most common childhood cancers, representing approximately one-third of all cancer diagnoses among children under the age of 14. Studies show that a subset of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common type of leukemia in children, begins in the womb. Researchers discovered a genetic error that is present at birth in some children who later develop ALL. It is not clear how many children have this error at birth or whether it can be used to identify children who will develop ALL.
How your donations help:
Erin Marcotte, PhD, and Heather Nelson, PhD, will test a new method using advanced genetic sequencing to detect this genetic error. This will help researchers determine whether the genetic error is an accurate predictor of leukemia, helping doctors detect ALL earlier and increase a child’s chance of survival.
“I’m most excited about the impact this research could have on our understanding of the causes of childhood leukemia. If we can conclusively identify how many children have the genetic error at birth, it will have a huge impact on our knowledge of how leukemia develops in children. If we are successful, this project will open many doors for future research, and may ultimately lead to studies on screening and early detection of ALL.”Erin Marcotte, PhD