Gene Variant May Increase Neuropathy Risk in Pediatric Leukemia Drug

Patients with ALL who have a variant of gene CEP72 may experience more frequent and severe neuropathy while on vincristine.

Children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia who had a certain gene variant experienced a higher incidence and severity of peripheral neuropathy after receiving treatment with the cancer drug vincristine, according to a study in JAMA.

Cancer remains the leading cause of death by disease in U.S. children despite major advances in the last 20 years. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common childhood cancer, and as cure rates have surpassed 85 percent, it becomes increasingly important to lessen the toxicities of treatment that adversely affect quality of life and longevity. Vincristine is one of the most widely used and effective anticancer agents for treating leukemias in both adults and children. 

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