Researchers have identified the first inherited gene mutation that increases a person’s risk for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), one of the most common forms of the disease.
The mutation was found in a gene called DAPK1, which normally helps trigger the death of cells before they become cancerous. Researchers identified the mutation by testing a family in which the father, four sons, a grandson and a distant female relative developed this form of leukemia.
These findings may be useful not only in identifying individuals at risk for CLL, but may also lead to new therapies targeted at re-activating this gene. The research is to be published in the June 1 issue of the journal Cell