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Cytogenetic Studies of Childhood Cancers
Current biotechnology methods enable doctors and researchers to study the DNA of cancer cells. Sometimes they can pinpoint an abnormality in a child's cancer cells; sometimes this abnormality is known from previous studies to be either a good or bad prognostic factor, and sometimes they are only monitoring the DNA abnormality, observing the progression of the cancer, and writing it down for future reference.
The following links to web sites will help parents get up to snuff on what they need to know to be able to have an intelligent conversation with their child's oncologist. The primary focus of this Web page are the translocations in leukemia. (Author's primary interest.) However, some of the background and links pertain to all childhood cancers.
Introduction to Chromosome Abnormalities
From the St. Francis Health Services Cytogenics Lab in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Start here for a background primer in chromosome nomenclature, with answers (including good graphics) to the following:
- What are chromosomes?
- What is a karyotype?
- How are chromosomes and chromosome abnormalities labeled?
- What is a chromosome deletion, duplication, ring, inversion?
American Society of Hematology
Mechanisms of Leukemogenesis: Chromosomal Translocations, Wendy Stock (Chair), Peter D.
Educational Abstracts from the ASH. This particular paper is quite technical. It gives an overview of what is known about chromosomal abnormalities and ALL. (Hematology, 1999). It was online in 2000, but as of 2005, it is not available online.
Atlas, search by abnormality or by chromosome number, links to other databases
Educational items: what the abnormalities are, descriptions of malignant blood disorders
This page on the site is a list of known translocations.
Leukemia Gene Database (LeGenD)
"A database of Leukemia genes (LeGenD) is developed to help the Biological and Medical Sciences community to easily access all information on the genes that are involved in Leukemia. The information about these genes is stored in a simple semi-structured database and can be accessed freely through a WWW interface." This site is a little tough for the lay person to get around.
National Cancer Institute - Cancer Genome Anatomy Project
Search for chromosomal abnormalities by different criteria. If you put acute lymphoblastic leukemia in the search box, you get a list of all known ALL abnormalities with links to more information/abstracts on each.
University of Virginia, Health Science System
Pages from Childhood Leukemias, Ching-Hon Pui, editor.
On the NIH National Human Genome Research Institute site.
Genomics and its impact on medicine and society.
These pages are intended for informational purposes only and are not intended to render medical advice. The information provided on Ped Onc Resource Center should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you suspect your child has a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.