Health Discoveries in Leukemias

Stem cell study finds worse outcomes for certain Leukemia patients

December 29, 2010
Leukemia patients who suffer from cancers that express higher levels of genes from certain cancer stem cells receive a less hopeful prognosis than those who have lower levels of the genes, according to a new study.

Scientists from the Stanford University School of Medicine used the stem cell hypothesis to predict outcomes of a number of cancer patients in order to potentially come up with specific treatments depending on each case.

Researchers are excited about this potential discovery, as they believe there are a lot of opportunities that could stem from this hypothesis.

"The clinical implications of this concept are huge," said acting assistant professor of oncology Ash Alizadeh. "If we're not able to design therapies to target this self-renewing population of chemotherapy-resistant cells, the patients will continue to have a tendency to relapse."

The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, which is a part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, is currently conducting a number of clinical trials on leukemia, including current research on attempting to improve the outcome of young adults who suffer from acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
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