WEEKLY UPDATE: October 11, 2019
SUMMARY: Discovery of novel genetic variants associated with an increased risk of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
DESCRIPTION: Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a form of cancer that is characterized by an overproduction of lymphocytes (a type of white blood cells) that makes it difficult for the other blood cells to function properly.Environmental factors, including some herbicides, pesticides, and radon exposure, have been linked to an increased risk of developing chronic lymphocytic leukemia. This study found multiple genetic variants that are associated with an increased risk of developing CLL after examining the genomes of 10,767 individuals of European ancestry. These newly discovered variants explain roughly 1% of the heritability for CLL, and nearly 17% when combined with previously discovered variants. The identified variants are found in genes that are involved in the process of apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Deregulation of apoptosis is known to contribute to many forms of cancer.
DID YOU KNOW? Environmental factors, including some herbicides, pesticides, and radon exposure, have been linked to an increased risk of developing chronic lymphocytic leukemia. [SOURCE]