Establishing whether prevention may be a possibility
We must also stress that, as Professor Greaves notes, while patterns of exposure to common infections are critical, the risk of a child developing leukaemia is also influenced by inherited genetic susceptibility, as well as chance.
However, it is significant that this research indicates that we may be able to prevent most cases of childhood leukaemia – potentially sparing children the trauma and life-long consequences of chemotherapy.
It’s important that this research is followed up to see if children’s immune systems can be strengthened through exposure to certain types of bacteria, and to further understand the causes of ALL.
Equally it is vital that there is continued funding for research into the causes of all childhood cancers, to take forward our understanding of why children develop cancer and to establish whether prevention may be a possibility.
In September Children with Cancer UK will be hosting our International Scientific and Medical Conference – Childhood Cancer 2018 – A holistic approach to Precision Medicine, this landmark conference will examine the way we understand cancer. This conference will bring together experts from around the World and will discuss the various factors that have been associated with both increased and decreased risk of childhood leukaemia and other childhood cancers (see )