St. Jude researchers led a study of T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). How this rare disease is passed through families was mostly unknown.
The scientists linked inherited variants of the gene USP7 with an increased risk of T-ALL. Changes in this gene are more common in individuals who are African American.
USP7 controls transcription factors and tumor suppressors. Those contribute toward development of T-ALL.
“These findings indicate that T-ALL is very different from other types of ALL with its own set of genetic risk factors,” said Jun J. Yang, Ph.D. of the St. Jude Departments of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Oncology.
The Journal of the National Cancer Institute published a report on this work.