Familial CLL Research
One of the interests of Dr. Laura Rassenti has been to study the causes of familial (Family history of CLL) Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). It has been known that a genetic component may affect the risk of developing CLL. Although most cases of CLL are sporadic, multiple cases of CLL may be found within a single family. There are numerous reports of families with multiple members having CLL. The risk is about 8-fold higher for individuals with relatives that have CLL compared to the general population. Afflicted individuals within such families often present at a younger age than most patients with CLL, suggesting that genetic factors in familial CLL contribute to this leukemia. However, the genetic factor(s) that contribute to Familial CLL are unknown and no susceptibility genes have yet been identified.
Clustering in the CLL families have been observed. For example, in one family a father and his four sons, two of whom are identical twins, have CLL. This suggests a non-random chance of developing CLL. To date no plausible environmental factors have been identified that could explain the clustering in families, thus supporting a possible genetic factor. Several genome-wide studies have been conducted. Although regions of interest have been identified on chromosomes 2, 5, 6, 11, and 18, no definitive susceptibility genes were identified on these particular chromosomes. Recently, through a large international genome-wide association study (GWAS), researchers have identified 7 genetic variants located on chromosomes 2, 6, 11, 15, and 19 in a large sample of subjects including hundreds of families.
We would like to collect biospecimens and exposure information from high-risk CLL families, which we define as those families that contain two or more living blood-related individuals affected with CLL. The data from the specimens obtained from these Familial CLL patients will be used to identify candidate genes of this malignancy and characterize the genetic risk of CLL.
To participate please call: 1 (877) FAM-4CLL or 1 (877) 326-4255
Recent interview with Dr. Rassenti: Click Here