Thursday, October 13, 2011

The BRCA Gene for Blood Cancer - GATA2

In September of this year, researchers announced that they have discovered a gene mutation that can cause, among other things, leukemia. The study, published online in the journal Nature Genetics on September 4th, explained that a mutation in the GATA2 gene has been associated with diseases relating to the development of white blood cells, including acute myeloid leukemia.

Scientists Find Gene Link to Blood Cancers

GATA2: Gene Defect that Predisposes People to Leukemia Discovered

As far as I'm aware, I have no familial history of leukemia. The article states that a genetic tests is/will be available to determine if a person is a carrier of the GATA2 error.

Considering my lack of family history, this development only warrants a conversation with Dr. Goldberg. When you start talking T-cells or genes with him, he glows, and not because he's been hanging out too long in the refrigerator with the Daunorubicin. I anticipate I will receive more information on this finding as additional research and discussions happen.

Two huge positives of locating the gene error are 1) testing for those with family predispositions can result in early monitoring for the diseases and 2) the marker will facilitate researchers in developing gene targeted therapies.

Cancer research has come so far already; we can't fathom what technologies will be available 30 years from now.

* Special thanks to Marci for bringing my attention to this advancement.