Updated on 21 January 2013
"This study is a good example of the important insights that can be gained by studying the largest possible number of patients in as much detail as possible. This approach led us to key insights about these leukemia subtypes that we would otherwise have missed," said the study's senior and corresponding author, Dr Charles Mullighan, who is also Mullighan Pew Scholar in biomedical sciences.and an associate member of the St Jude Pathology Department.
"The cure rate for hypodiploid ALL is only about half that obtained overall for children with ALL. The findings of this study are very important and have the potential to impact how this high-risk subset of childhood ALL is treated," said Dr Stephen Hunger, chair of the Children's Oncology Group ALL committee and one of the paper's co-authors.
He added, "This study grew out of the efforts of Hank Schueler, a teenager who died from hypodiploid ALL. He wanted to find ways to help treat other children with this type of leukemia. After he passed away, his parents established a foundation to support research in hypodiploid ALL. We thought that one way to do this was to conduct the genomic analyses reported in this paper. These findings would not have been possible without Hank's idea and without support from the Schueler family."