Dis5_Pharmacogenetics+case+study

Dis5_Pharmacogenetics+case+study - Pharmacogenetics: Using...

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Pharmacogenetics: Using Genetics to Treat Disease * by Jeanne Ting Chowning Director of Education Northwest Association for Biomedical Research Part I – Acute Lymphocytic (Lymphoblastic) Leukemia It’s called the children’s ward. For two teenagers who have been recently diagnosed with leukemia, it seems insulting to have their lives hijacked by doctors and nurses with stuffed animals clipped to their stethoscopes. Laura is a forward on her school soccer team and leads the league in scoring. For the last four months, she has been really tired, but nothing seemed really wrong until her legs became covered with bruises. Just pressing her fingers on her skin was practically enough to make a bruise. It didn’t seem real when her doctor, Jane Ryder, diagnosed her with Acute Lymphocytic (or Lymphoblastic) Leukemia (ALL), or when she told her that ALL is the most common malignant (spreading) cancer found in children. She’s 14 years old; she’s not a child! Beth is 13 and looks remarkably like Laura. Both have straight dark hair, large brown eyes, and tall slender builds. Beth has never been that athletic; she prefers reading and theater. She’s hoping to be part of the drama team next year when she goes to high school, even though she’ll only be a freshman. But she’s been missing a lot of school because of one virus after another, lots of fevers and night sweats, then that rash in the fall. Now she’s in a hospital, and it seems like the only people she sees are her parents, Dr. Ryder, and the nurses. Laura and Beth both have ALL, which arises from the uncontrolled growth of immature lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell, or leukocyte). These cells, which are “stuck” in an early stage of development, become so numerous that they crowd out normal blood cells. Each year about 30 cases occur per million people, and most of those cases are in children aged 2–5 years. The cause of ALL remains largely unknown, although a small number of cases are associated
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This note was uploaded on 11/22/2010 for the course BIOLOGY SC Bio Sci 93 taught by Professor Dr.dianeo'dowdanddr.rahulwarrior during the Fall '10 term at UC Irvine.

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Dis5_Pharmacogenetics+case+study - Pharmacogenetics: Using...

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