Researcher Examines Impact of Extra Chromosome on Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Human cells are made of many parts, including chromosomes which are organized structures of DNA. Their job is to help direct the actions of various types

of cells. There are 23 chromosomes and normally, each cell contains 2 copies of each chromosome for a total of 46 chromosomes. Scientists have long known that many types of cancer cells show either a gain or loss of specific chromosomes.

In Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), a blood cancer that affects approximately 500 children each year, between 10-20% of patients have an extra chromosome 8, referred to as trisomy 8. David Gordon, MD, PhD at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA suspects that trisomy 8 contributes to the creation of cancerous cells because certain genes are expressed when an abnormal number of chromosomes are present. Understanding how these genes come to be present could lead to the development of targeted treatments.

To conduct his research, Dr. Gordon has developed three cells lines that are identical, except for the absence or presence of an extra chromosome 8. Using these cell lines, he will research the effect of trisomy 8 on the creation and continued growth of AML cells and investigate the relationship between trisomy 8 and specific genes that are known to cause cancer.

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Happy New Year!

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Daughter’s Memory Honored Through Ultimate Hike

Mother hikes so that one day, every child is guaranteed a cure

Emily McKelvey

When Amy’s daughter, Emily, was 17 she fulfilled a life-long dream of being camp counselor at Camp Lirecrest, her childhood camp. She loved getting to know the campers and helping them fall in love with the camp like she had when she was young. For one week during the summer, the camp was open only to children with cancer. Emily decided to stay and volunteer during that week, and was incredibly moved by how positive the kids were, despite their situations.

When Emily went home, she developed a sore throat. Her mom took her to the doctor, and when a mono and strep throat test came back negative, her doctor told her to rest and that she would start feeling better soon. She still wasn’t feeling better a week later, so her mother took her back to the doctor where a blood test was performed. The results shocked the family. Emily had leukemia.

Emily started treatment the same day, and only left the hospital for 7 days during the five months of her treatment. Her doctors believed that a bone marrow transplant was the best treatment option for Emily and began preparing her for the procedure. Luckily, a perfect match was found, and Emily underwent a bone marrow transplant on November 6, 2008. Although the transplant was successful, the chemotherapy that Emily received damaged her liver and she went into renal failure. After five months of fighting, Emily lost her battle.

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Top Ten Ways To Move Cures Forward, Every Now Forward

1.   Like CureSearch on Facebook and tell your friends to do the same!

2.   Donate the cost of a night out at the movies and help CureSearch fund innovative research to make treatment possible and a cure probably for kids fighting cancer today and int he future.

3.   Doing some last minute shopping? Look no further than Red Envelope! Visit their website today, $10 of every purchase will be donated to CureSearch!

4.   Donate $36 for the 36 children diagnosed with cancer every day.

5.   Tell you friends that the money raised by CureSearch helps make treatment possible and a cure probable for kids fighting cancer today and int he future.

6.   In honor of the 36 children diagnosed with cancer every day, Pro Flowers will donate $10 of every order you make! Be sure to visit their site and help support children’s cancer research.

7.   Tell your friends that children’s cancer affects all ethnic, gender, and socio-economic groups. CureSearch is dedicated to funding research to change the odds for those children most at risk.

8.   Join one of CureSearch’s events such as the CureSearch Walk or Ultimate Hike.

9.   Follow CureSearch on Twitter.

10.   Donate to CureSearch because every 40 minutes, a family hears the words “your child has cancer.” A donation makes it possible for these families to receive the best treatment possible at a hospital near them.

Order your Bravelet today! For every Bravelet purchased, $10 will be donated to CureSearch!

bravelets

Bravelets is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to giving back to organizations making a difference in the community.

During December, Bravelets will donate $10 of every purchase of a CureSearch for Children’s Cancer Bravelet to CureSearch!

Don’t wait, buy your Bravelet today and help CureSearch continue to accelerate the cure for children at greatest risk of losing their battle with cancer, support clinical trials for children at local hospitals, and provide resources and education for families.

CureSearch Awards $1.2 Million in Grants

CureSearch for Children’s Cancer has awarded $1.2 million in clinical trials support to 77 hospitals who applied for Clinical Trials Advancement Awards. All hopsitals who applied for grants received funding for enrolling infants, children, adolescents, and young adults in Phase I, Phase II, and Phase III therapeutic clinical trials.

Clinical Trials Advancement Awards range from $5,000 to $40,000 and are based on a set criteria detailed in the grant application, but include balancing the number of enrollments with a hospital’s involvement in the CureSearch Walk.

Hospitals can begin applying for 2014 funding in May, 2014 and award notices will be distributed in December, 2014.

New Young Investigator Program Podcast Available!

Hear how Eric Raabe is studying what causes rare DIPG brain tumors. 

Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) is one of the most devastating childhood cancers, with mean survival times of a little more than a year. DIPG is a type of central nervous system cancer that is located in the pons section of the brain. The pons controls breathing and swallowing, as well as movement in the face and head, and arms and legs. DIPG tumors cannot be removed because they lack an identifiable border, and they take over a location in the brain necessary for survival.

DIPG is a very rare childhood cancer and primarily affects children between 3-10 years old. The cancer is treated aggressively with radiation but in the last 30 years, no other treatments have been shown to extend a child’s life beyond 1 to 2 years. Diagnosed by unique characteristics that appear on MRI, until recently there was very little DIPG tissue available for researchers to study. Thanks to new autopsy processes, in recent years researchers have begun to study DIPG tissue and in doing so have found that a specific gene mutation is present in about 70% of DIPG tumors.

Read more about Eric Raabe’s research.