New test predicts survival in patients with leukemia

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A new test could more accurately improve prognosis predictions for patients with blood cancers as well as other forms of cancer. 

Researchers at the Cardiff University's School of Medicine have developed techniques for measuring telomeres, repetitive nucleotide sequences located at the termini of linear chromosomes. Using these techniques, they examined telomeres to determine if they were functioning properly in cells taken from patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). The patients that possessed shorter, dysfunctional telomeres were observed to have fared poorer than those with operational, long telomeres. Telomeres serve to protect the end of chromosomes and protect them from damage during cell division. After numerous cell divisions, the telomeres get progressively shorter and eventually send a signal to halt cell division—this process does not take place in CLL cells and the very short length of telomeres in CLL cells can lead to chromosome fusing and DNA faults.

Traditionally, accurate accurate prognosis for patients with CLL has been difficult for clinicians. Although more research is needed, these new techniques to greatly help doctors provide a more accurate prognosis for their patients based on telomere examination.

Study results were published online in the British Journal of Haematology.

New test predicts survival in patients with leukemia
New test predicts survival in patients with leukemia

(Medical Xpress)—Scientists have developed a test which accurately predicts the prognosis for patients with the most common form of leukaemia.

The findings could also inform the development of a prognostic test for patients with other forms of cancer.

Researchers from the School of Medicine used pioneering techniques for measuring the length and function of  known as 'telomeres' – repeating sections of DNA found at the ends of .

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