Gene Loss Causes Leukemia, Flanders Institute for Biotechnology Study

Published: May 18, 2010

Medical News Today -- Researchers from VIB and K.U.Leuven, both in Flanders, Belgium, have discovered a new factor in the development of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a disease that mainly affects children. In the cells of the patients, the specific gene PTPN2 ceases to function, causing the cancer cells to survive longer and grow faster. The study provides genetic and functional evidence for a tumor suppressor role of PTPN2. The research was carried out in close cooperation with scientists from the Hopital Saint-Louis in Paris. Understanding the causes of leukemia is important for the development of new targeted therapies. The results appear in the journal Nature Genetics.

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