Important research from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital regarding the use of the anti-cancer drug Vincristine, often used for treating Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL)
Researchers from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital have identified the first genetic variation that is associated with increased risk and severity of peripheral neuropathy following treatment with a widely used anti-cancer drug. Investigators also found evidence of how it may be possible to protect young leukemia patients without jeopardizing cures. The opensource study is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The study involved 321 children and adolescents whose acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) treatment included between 36 and 39 doses of the drug vincristine.
Researchers screened patient DNA for almost 1 million common inherited genetic variations and found that 60.8 percent of those who inherited two copies of a variation in a gene named CEP72 developed peripheral neuropathy. Vincristine-related peripheral neuropathy was diagnosed in 23.4 percent of patients who inherited at least one of the more common versions of CEP72. Patients with two copies of the high-risk CEP72 variant were also more than twice as likely as other patients to experience serious, disabling or life-threatening peripheral neuropathy.