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Cancer

25 August 2008

Childhood cancer breakthrough

Researchers have identified the hereditary gene mutations behind a deadly form of childhood cancer, opening the way to genetic tests in high-risk families, says a new study.

Researchers have identified the hereditary gene mutations behind a deadly form of childhood cancer, opening the way to genetic tests in high-risk families, according to a new study.

Discovery leads to genetic tests on families
The disease has long puzzled scientists because of its highly variable outcomes: some forms strike infants, but then recede without treatment, while other variants, especially in older children, can be relentlessly aggressive.

Cancer caught early by tests
The findings, published in the British journal Nature, will make it possible to use simple ultrasound or urine tests to monitor children with this mutation so that any signs of the cancer can be tackled at an early stage.

Nature study is the first to identify a childhood cancer caused by mutations in a cancer-causing gene, according to the study.


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CANSA’s purpose is to lead the fight against cancer in South Africa. Its mission is to be the preferred non-profit organisation that enables research, educates the public and provides support to all people affected by cancer. Questions are answered by CANSA’s Head of Health Professor Michael Herbst. For more information, visit cansa.org.za.

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