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UVa. Researchers Studying Effectiveness of Cancer Test

Jan. 24, 2014

Researchers at the University of Virginia are looking into one test for childhood cancer, saying it may not be as effective as originally thought.

The test detects a rare form of muscular cancer by looking at gene fusion. However, they've found that gene fusion actually happens during normal cellular development, and not just in this cancer.

Now, they're trying to find out what kind of cells the fusion process originates from.

"So the debate has been, exactly what kind of cell does the tumor come from, and knowing that will actually benefit the development of therapeutic targets, because we don't even know what kind of cell it's coming from, it's hard to design therapeutic approaches," UVa. Assistant Professor Hui Li said.

Researchers say the finding serves as a word of caution for doctors diagnosing children, and they recommend doctors use multiple tests.

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