Advances in Genetic Therapies Concerning Pediatric Leukemia

Victoria Furfey


Cancer affects the cells in the body, where they divide uncontrollably and can spread to other areas. Cancer starts from a single cell and can grow to over a trillion cells. These cells are damaged in their genetics, which allows them to grow in great numbers. Although there can be benign tumors, cancer is malignant, meaning these cells spread throughout the body. Blood cancers such as leukemia are cancers of the blood which does not form tumors. Pediatric leukemia is one of the most common malignant cancers in children. Most children affected by this cancer are two to five years old, while children affected by acute myeloid leukemia (AML) are around ten. These cancers are more common in children, but this kind of cancer can develop in people of any age. Some of the most common treatments for this disease are chemotherapy or radiation. However, therapies have drastically improved for these cases, especially those with ALL. Unfortunately, the progress for AML has been slower for all age groups. In this paper, we will delve deeper into the causes and predispositions for leukemia and the recent progress in the treatments for this disease.

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