Oxidative stress has been implicated in the metabolism of chemotherapy drugs. The mechanisms have been linked to the genes that encode glutathione S-transferase (GST) which are critical in protection against oxidative stress.

In March Journal of Clinical Oncology Stella Davies and colleagues demonstrate that presence or absence of GST genes may influence the outcome of treatment for childhood acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).

Davies et al genotyped the GST isoenzyme genes GSTT1 and GSTM1 in 306 children with AML receiving chemotherapy on Children's Cancer Group regimes. They found that GSTT1-negative children had greater toxicity and reduced survival after chemotherapy for AML compared with children with at least one GSTT1 allele (J Clin Oncol 2001, 5:1279-1287).

If confirmed in further studies, GSTT1 genotype might be useful in selecting appropriate chemotherapy regimens for children with AML.

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?