Scientists have conducted a ground-breaking investigation that has led them to the identification of gene mutations that are likely to cause blood cancer.
The discovery might help physicians detect leukemia at an earlier stage, which would in turn save lives.
Researchers from the universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland investigated the function of certain cells in the body that are responsible for the production of all of the other blood cells.
These cells, which are referred to as “hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells,” play an essential role in the maturation of human blood. They may contain harmful mutations that raise a person’s chance of developing leukemia, and the likelihood of developing cancer goes up even more if a large number of these mutations appear in the body.
Because they investigated the mutations in more depth, the researchers were able to improve their ability to detect gene alterations that were likely to result in illnesses such as leukemia.
It is possible for the circulatory system to deteriorate with age in humans, which also considerably increases the risk of getting blood cancer. When looking at the impact that aging has on the blood, it frequently takes years of research before any conclusions can be drawn. When it is known that individuals have these mutations, it is possible to keep a closer eye on them in order to detect and treat illnesses such as leukemia at an earlier stage.
For the purpose of the study, researchers collaborated with Cancer Research UK, the organization that has the title of biggest independent cancer research institution worldwide.
Over the course of a period of twelve years, the specialists observed the changes that took place in the blood cells of individuals in Scotland who were partaking in an ongoing research that gathers data on people’s aging. All 85 people who took part in the study were older than 70 years old.