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Researchers Seek to Predict Radiation Therapy-Induced Cancer in Kids

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a cancer most commonly seen in children and young adults, but one that is highly treatable with radiation and chemotherapy. But the radiation treatment increases the patients’ risk of developing a second cancer even decades after initial treatment.  

Now researchers at the University of Chicago have identified two specific genetic variations that increased the risk of developing such treatment-induced cancers after screening the genes of about 300 Hodgkin's lymphoma patients, half of whom developed second cancers. For example, among these patients, only three percent of those who did not have the two variants developed second cancers, compared with almost 33 percent of those who had both.  

The authors explain in their study, published in Nature Medicine, that “this finding means we can better identify children who are most susceptible to radiation-induced cancers before treatment begins and modify their care to prevent this serious long-term complication.”

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