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Can leukemia in children with Down syndrome be prevented? Princess Margaret Scientists reveal a new target that suggests it can

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IMAGE: DR. ELVIN WAGENBLAST, POST-DOCTORAL FELLOW AT THE PRINCESS MARGARET CANCER CENTRE, UNIVERSITY HEALTH NETWORK, IS THE FIRST AUTHOR. view more

CREDIT: UHN

For the first time, Princess Margaret researchers have mapped out where and how leukemia begins and develops in infants with Down syndrome in preclinical models, paving the way to potentially prevent this cancer in the future.

Children with Down syndrome have a 150-fold increased risk of developing myeloid leukemia within the first five years of their life. Yet the mechanism by which the extra copy of chromosome 21 predisposes to leukemia remains unclear.

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Dr. Google is not your friend

It’s incredible that we live in a world where we can search our symptoms online and within seconds, we’re given thousands of suggestions as to what we are dealing with. But it can also be a cancer survivor’s worst enemy. Most of the symptoms people suffer from as side-effects from cancer treatment will align with any other number of cancers and can lead you down a rabbit hole of despair if you let it.

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Nursed back to health

Nine years later, not only is Goff cancer-free, she also works as an oncology nurse at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital — on the same floor where she received cancer treatment as a patient.

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Yoga in the Pediatric Oncology Population: A Review of the Literature

Although no randomized clinical trials have been conducted to date on this important topic, the studies reviewed showed that delivering yoga to this population is feasible and safe. Additionally, preliminary findings on the impact of yoga for some of the common symptoms and treatment-related side effects experienced by children and adolescents affected by cancer are promising.

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