Childhood cancer survivors treated with cranial radiation therapy may be at risk for stroke

May 24, 2019

In a recent study from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, researchers have discovered the presence of a genetic variant in children causing increased stroke risk after undergoing cranial radiation therapy. According to Yadav Saptoka, PhD, it was previously known that individuals undergoing this treatment were at higher risk. The observed risk, however, was highly variant.

Due to this, researchers set out to find if any genetic causes were responsible for an increased risk of stroke after treatment. Nearly 700 childhood cancer survivors, treated with cranial radiation therapy, were surveyed for this study. 17% of the individuals tested had been clinically diagnosed with an incidence of stroke. After analyzing whole-genome data from these individuals, searching for a genetic variant responsible, researchers found a shared single nucleotide polymorphism to cause a 3 times increase in stroke risk.

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