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Genetic Risk Scores for ALL in Latino Children

Recently, a team of five CLIC researchers published a study using genomic data to evaluate the risk of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) among Latino children in California. Drs. Libby Morimoto, Catherine Metayer, Xiaomei Ma, Joseph Wiemels, and Adam de Smith, in collaboration with Dr. Charleston Chiang (University of Southern California), used genetic data obtained during the California Childhood Cancer Record Linkage Project (CCRLP) and California Childhood Leukemia Study (CCLS) to establish a polygenic risk score (PRS) for quantitatively measuring the inherited risk of ALL due to common genetic variance. 

ALL is the most common type of childhood cancer, but previous studies of the genetic risk were primarily conducted on children of European ancestry. The CLIC investigators wanted to study the ALL risk factors in the DNA of Latino children since this group of children have the highest risk of ALL compared to other populations in the United States and a lower survival rate compared to non-Latino whites. The team discussed how their models created for genomic risk for Latino children were just as accurate at predicting ALL than the previously established models based on European children. Researchers found that the genetic architecture of both groups of children overlaps to a great extent, but there appear to be additional variants only associated with risk in Latino children. The researchers suggested that more inclusive genomic studies and analyses would be needed in the future. 

CLIC is excited to begin utilizing more genetic data and uncovering more aspects of genetic risk of childhood cancer through our CLIC Genomics Project that launched last year. This project will be able to examine the DNA of children from around the world and help create more accurate PRS for all children. 

Article Title:Evaluating Genomic Polygenic Risk Scores for Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in Latinos. 

Authors: Jeon S, Lo YC, Morimoto LM, Metayer C, Ma X, Wiemels JL, de Smith AJ, Chiang CWK. 

Published In: HGG Adv. 2023 Sep 13;4(4):100239. doi: 10.1016/j.xhgg.2023.100239. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37710962; PMCID: PMC10550840.