Interdisciplinary Training

Casey Crump, M.D.

Hearst Fellow

The Glutathione S-transferase Theta 1 Gene Deletion And Risk Of Acute Myelocytic Leukemia

Individuals with a homozygous deletion of the glutathione S-transferase theta 1 (GSTT1) gene lack detoxification of environmental carcinogens by GSTT1-mediated conjugation with glutathione. The GSTT1 gene deletion has been associated with carcinogen-induced chromosomal damage in lymphocytes, and some but not all epidemiologic evidence has suggested that the GSTT1 gene deletion may increase susceptibility to myelodysplasia. We are conducting a case-control study to test whether individuals with an inherited homozygous deletion of the GSTT1 gene are at increased risk of developing acute myelocytic leukemia (AML). Homozygous GSTT1 gene deletion is being determined by PCR using lymphocyte or bone marrow DNA from 300 AML patients and 150 controls. AML patients were selected from Southwest Oncology Group clinical studies and controls were identified by random digit dialing in Washington state. This research into leukemia etiology has clinical and public health relevance and involves training in epidemiologic and laboratory methods. The results may help elucidate the role of GST-theta in leukemogenesis.

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