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NCI Cancer Center News

Researchers discover mutations linked to relapse of childhood leukemia

  • Posted: February 4, 2013

After an intensive three-year hunt through the genome, medical researchers have pinpointed mutations that lead to drug resistance and relapse in the most common type of childhood cancer—the first time anyone has linked the disease's reemergence to specific genetic anomalies. The discovery, led by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center's Cancer Institute, is reported in a study published online February 3, 2013, in Nature Genetics. Other institutions involved include: the Children's Oncology Group, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University, and the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children's Hospital Colorado.

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Among the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 67 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.