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Scientists Make Discovery about Unique Forms of Leukemia

Kenneth D. Nahum

Actively involved in clinical research, Dr. Kenneth D. Nahum teaches at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Also a hematologist and oncologist with Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA), Dr. Kenneth D. Nahum leverages more than three decades of experience to treat patients with a wide range of blood disorders and cancers.

One of the most recognizable blood disorders/cancers is leukemia. Several different types of leukemia exist, but mixed phenotype acute leukemia (MPAL) is one of the most challenging for physicians. This subtype of acute leukemia accounts for about 3 percent of the 3,500 pediatric cases of acute leukemia diagnosed each year in the US.

Since MPAL has features of both acute lymphoblastic leukemia and acute myeloid leukemia, it has been difficult for physicians to treat. Fortunately, scientists recently made a huge step forward in the treatment of MPAL.
Researchers at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital discovered the origins of the disease, along with several mutations associated with it. With this information, the World Health Organization’s classifications of acute leukemia have been updated to include three MPAL subtypes.

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