CHU Sainte-Justine Research Centre
MicroDNA signature for prognosis of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common type of childhood blood cancer, and relapsed and treatment-resistant ALL poses significant challenges in terms of clinical management. Being able to diagnose new and relapsed cases of ALL earlier would allow people to receive treatments as soon as possible, improving the likelihood of success. To achieve this, Dr Krajinovic and her team are testing whether small circular pieces of DNA are effective markers of disease. DNA is usually linear but the recent discovery of these circular pieces of DNA point to their potential as stable and easily detectable markers of cancer. The researchers are trying to identify a circular DNA signature and optimize an analysis technique that would allow them to detect these markers in a fast and cost-effective way. If successful, this approach could radically change how children with ALL are cared for, helping them live longer.