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Monday, June 01, 2009

Connection Between Down Syndrome and Cancer

There is an interesting article in the Boston Globe about a connection between Down syndrome and cancer - A Medical Puzzle Yields Cancer Clue - Downs Gene Starves Growth of Tumors
Some excerpts:

Epidemiologic studies of thousands of people with Down syndrome ... have shown they are less than 10 percent as likely to die from solid tumors as their comparably aged peers, and that has remained true even as scientific advances allow people with the syndrome to live deeper into adulthood.

Scientists discovered that the extra chromosome carried by people with Down syndrome ... harbors a gene responsible for starving tumors of the blood they need to survive and flourish.

The ...discovery could provide a beacon to scientists developing treatments and preventive medications designed to be broadly effective against cancer, wherever it resides in the body.

"Most people don't appreciate the fact that these individuals with Downs potentially hold a secret that might lead to quite substantial and revolutionary new treatments for cancer," said Dr. David Sweetser

Could this gene, found on the same chromosome that defines Down syndrome, be especially bountiful in people with Down and, thus, responsible for depriving tumors of what they need to grow?

Imagine that - because individuals with Down syndrome exist there could be new treatments and medications that are broadly effective against cancer.

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16 comments:

Lacey said...

I saw this on our news a few weeks ago. I just think its one more thing our kids are showing the world. Like their caring,compasion, and will to survive.

grandma said...

Oh my!! What awesome news! Makes us realize that all the research dollars are not necessarily a waste.

Tausha said...

Wow, that is really interesting. Someone told my husband the other day that kids with DS that get leukemia have a 100% success rate, maybe there is so truth to it after reading this article. Very interesting.

Bailey's Leaf said...

Interesting stuff!

Izzy 'N Emmy said...

Wow, I hadn't heard this yet. Pretty cool!

Ria said...

I saw this in the news too. It's very interesting.

Jeanette said...

This is great. Thanks for sharing.

Sunny said...

I love it! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

wow, this is really interesting.

Monica @ Monkey Musings said...

We all know there's something special about our kids w/ Ds. Now maybe media and research will look at our kids as genetic role models :-)

Ann of the Incredible Gift said...

This is just fascinating stuff.

Our kids are awesome, and they don't know all the awesome little quirks yet. I have to imagine there will be more intriguing discoveries in times to come.

Corey~living and loving said...

how interesting. thanks for sharing.

hope you are doing well. I think of you all often.

Nancy said...

Wow that is a really interesting connection. I hope it really leads to something truly amazing for cancer AND Down Syndrome.

Beth said...

That is amazing. I believe that God has a purpose for everything and if individuals with Downs are the key to discovering a cure for cancer...wow. Imagine the breakthroughs that are just around the corner. Just another reason why these beautiful souls are such blessings.

starrlife said...

That's really cool! Our unique kids- amazing things they bring!

mommasmurf said...

Wow. That gives me the shivers.