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Gene Mutation Identified in Various Myeloid Cancers

TET2 mutations appear to precede mutations in a previously associated gene

WEDNESDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- The TET2 gene is mutated in about 15 percent of patients with various myeloid cancers, and the mutations appear to precede mutations in a gene previously associated with these diseases, according to a study in the May 28 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Francois Delhommeau, Ph.D., from the Institut Gustave Roussy in Villejuif, France, and colleagues used a combination of genetic approaches to identify a candidate tumor-suppressor gene associated with several myeloid cancers.

The researchers identified a candidate gene, TET2, and sequenced the full gene in 320 patients. TET2 mutations were observed in 19 percent of patients with myelodysplastic syndromes, 12 percent of patients with myeloproliferative disorders, 24 percent of patients with secondary acute myeloid leukemia, and 22 percent of patients with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia. The authors further note that the TET2 gene defects were present in hematopoietic stem cells and in some cases appeared to precede a mutation in a previously identified gene associated with these diseases.

"Somatic mutations in TET2 occur in about 15 percent of patients with various myeloid cancers," Delhommeau and colleagues conclude. "Our results support a role for wild-type TET2 in the control of balance between survival, growth, and differentiation in normal hematopoiesis."

The study was supported by INSERM. An author of the accompanying editorial reported associations with medical companies.

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