Pediatric Cancer Genome Project dedicated to mapping out cancer' - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Pediatric Cancer Genome Project dedicated to mapping out cancer's DNA

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Inside a high-tech leukemia lab, researchers hone in on some of the toughest cancers imaginable including kinds that are chemo-resistant with a less than 50 percent cure rate. Inside a high-tech leukemia lab, researchers hone in on some of the toughest cancers imaginable including kinds that are chemo-resistant with a less than 50 percent cure rate.
Their research is dedicated to mapping out cancer's DNA to determine what makes some mutations so hard to cure. Their research is dedicated to mapping out cancer's DNA to determine what makes some mutations so hard to cure.
Gruber leads the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project at St. Jude. Gruber leads the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project at St. Jude.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - The campus of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is a home to 2.5 million square feet of research clinical and administrative space dedicated to finding cures and saving lives.

Inside a high-tech leukemia lab, researchers hone in on some of the toughest cancers imaginable including kinds that are chemo-resistant with a less than 50 percent cure rate.

"The hope is if you understand the mutations that are there, and you understand how it's causing the leukemia. You can target, then, how to interfere with that process," said Dr. Tanja Gruber.

Gruber leads the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project at St. Jude. Their research is dedicated to mapping out cancer's DNA to determine what makes some mutations so hard to cure.

"Understanding how the leukemia occurs, what drives the leukemia, as well as identifying drugs that are more effective in the clinic," said Gruber.

Dr. Gruber's team recently began studying the genes of two infants who have Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia which is the most common form of childhood cancer. In these two cases, a mutation is preventing chemotherapy from working.

"If a child isn't cured ... I take that very personally. We want every child to be cured, and every child is important to us," said Gruber.

Much of the work performed in the lab is funded through the generosity of donors.

"The wonderful thing about donating to St. Jude is that you really donate to the institution as a whole, and you're not donating to a specific aspect of the institution," said Gruber.

Meaning they can keep working to find cures while also providing free treatment, drugs and housing to patients fighting of their lives.

You can help in the miracles at St. Jude by purchasing a ticket for this year's dream home giveaway. Call 1-800-224-6681 for more information.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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