Breast Cancer Survivors at a Greater Risk for Leukemia: Study

Breast Cancer Survivors at a Greater Risk for Leukemia: Study

Authored by DesiMD Doctor on 11 Dec 2015 - 14:26


According to the latest study published online in Cancer Journal- breast cancer survivors with certain characteristics may have a greater risk of evolving leukemia after cancer therapies such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Certain cancer treatments that target tumor cells can also affect the healthy cells and hence increase the risk of causing leukemia later in life. TRL (Therapy-related leukemia) is believed to upshot directly from mutational events caused due to exposure to cytotoxic drugs, which are required in cancer treatment. However researchers are unaware how this happens and what the risk factors are.

For the study, Dr. Jane Churpek and colleagues at the University of Chicago investigated the characteristics of about 88 breast cancer survivors with therapy-related leukemia.

Study Findings: Out of all the 88 participants, results showed:

  • Participants with an additional primary cancer were 22%
  • Participants with family history of  a close relative with breast, ovarian or pancreatic cancer were 57%
  • DNA test discovered that out of the 47 breast cancer survivor, 21% had inherited mutation in a gene, linked with cancer that includes BRCA1 and BRCA2.

Dr. Churpek said, "The findings justify a long-term follow-up study of women with and without inherited breast cancer gene mutations who are treated with similar therapy for breast cancer. This would enable us to understand how these genes impact therapy-related leukemia risk and whether specific treatments come with higher risks based on a woman's inherited genetics."



Reference: Inherited mutations in cancer susceptibility genes are common among survivors of breast cancer who develop therapy-related leukemia, Jane E. Churpek, Cancer, doi: 10.1002/cncr.29615, published online 7 December 7, 2015.



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