A study coordinated by Anna Bigas, from the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), has confirmed that the cells that cause the reappearance of tumors after a treatment for adult leukemia are found in the body from the first diagnosis.
The project, which had the participation of the IRB’s Biomedical Genomics laboratory and the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute, has reached this conclusion after sequencing and analyzing the genomes of 19 patients during treatment and relapse and comparing it with data from 238 other patients.
“Our next challenge is to identify the cells responsible for relapse at the time of diagnosis”
Anna Bigas, IMIM.
Thus, they have been able to conclude that mutational processes are similar in different types of leukaemia (even pediatric ones) and that the cells responsible for the resistance to the treatment and that subsequently cause relapses, are present from the first diagnosis – although they are undetectable with the most widely used sequencing methods.
These results underline once again the importance of early detection of diseases such as leukemia.
Sentís I, et al. The evolution of relapse of adult T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Genome Biol. 2020 Nov 23;21(1):284.