University of Minnesota Researchers aim to Create new Therapies for Pediatric Leukemia

University of Minnesota Researchers aim to Create new Therapies for Pediatric Leukemia

University of Minnesota researchers are trying to create new, less toxic therapies for pediatric leukemia. Current therapies for leukemia can leave children with short- and long-term side effects. Researchers began this work early last month after they were awarded a $350,000 five-year grant for their study from the National Cancer Institute. 

“Our therapies have certainly improved over the last years and decades, but again, we’re not curing all children. Meaning they’re dying from leukemia, and the children we’re curing — they’re living with the long term effects,” said Peter Gordon, a researcher and University assistant professor of pediatrics.

As a pediatric oncologist, a doctor who treats cancer in children, Gordon said he sees both the successes and the shortcomings in current leukemia therapies. The question was whether researchers could improve those therapies.

Current Therapy Shortcomings

Leukemia is a systemic disease that starts in the bone marrow. It is a cancer of the white blood cells, which normally fight infection, making them grow out of control. The bone marrow produces cancer cells, which allows the cells to infiltrate any tissue in the body, dis...

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