Scientists at The Base Institute of Human Genetics have discovered a circulating protein in the blood of leukemia patients that may predict the severity of the disease. If further research identifying the protein proves to be correct it may bring new strategies in the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Individuals with AML a cancer of white blood cells live a shorter life span. Like cancer patients they often die after experiencing low or minimal disease activity for many years. In AML white blood cells lose function due to genetic mutations. Recent efforts to treat AML have been ineffective to prevent relapses or shift preference to the treatment of other treatment strategies.

Dr. Deirdre Hankins at The Base Institute of Human Genetics in partnership with colleagues from The GlaxoSmithKline (GSL) Loma Linda University and Harvards Brigham and Womens Hospital has been studying the gene which encodes a protein called Nkx. Nkx helps to maintain normal gene function regulates the rate of cell division and controls how well the cell replicates itself.

In this study the scientists observed that LB is the most commonly diagnosed cancer that affects children and adolescents. Learnings about this patient group have been published in the journal Blood Advances before a large group of researchers.

INFERNO: NIH Analysis of Nkx Detected by Capital Cities Partners Agency for Innovative Bloodwork and Transfusion: PD 2018 DECLARE-T2.