Team finds crucial cancer gene responsible for rapid leukemia progression

Team finds crucial cancer gene responsible for rapid leukemia progression


A local team of researchers identified a gene
responsible for rapid leukemia progression… among patients where their conditions did
not improve as their bodies’ developed resistance to exiting treatment. Kim Ji-yeon sheds light on the study that
could lay the foundation for the future of the battle against cancer. Chronic myeloid leukemia is a deadly blood
cancer… that kills half the people who get it. One main reason for its high mortality rate
is that after a five- or six-year dormant period, when the disease goes undetected,
the cancer cells suddenly progress rapidly. Fortunately, a local research team says it’s
identified a gene that’s responsible for the disease’s rapid progression. “The study identifies the Cobll-1 gene as
a crucial factor for the progression of leukemia and the body’s resistance to targeted anti-cancer
drugs.” The team was able to narrow down the culprit
to 14 genes including the Cobll-1 gene… from a DNA pool of some 5-hundred. The method involves collecting patients’ genes
whose conditions have responded to treatment to compare them to those that have not improved. The process requires persistance… since
it’s dealing with a rare type of cancer contracted by only one in 100-thousand people in their
late forties or older. “Luckily, we were able to collect enough genes
thanks to the Korea Leukemia Bank,… which provided us with discarded DNA samples from
leukemia patients. We’ve been storing some of them up over the
past 15 years.” The professor recalls one case that was crucial
to the team’s discovery. It involves the comparison of two pools of
genes from the same patient… where conditions initially improved but relapsed when the patient
got older. By comparing the patient’s genes collected
by the Leukemia Bank 15 years ago when the cancer was first detected, the team says it
was able to easily eliminate hundreds of genes as the cause of leukemia progression. The team says it plans to identify more genes
that may contribute to leukemia progression… as well as develop new diagnostic and treatment
methods involving the Cobll-1 gene. Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.