Some RUNX1 FPD/AML families have the disorder progress to leukemia at later stages of life while in some families there are incidences of pediatric leukemia. The RUNX1 Research Program is currently funding grants to understand the biology of the disease and how the disorder progresses to leukemia. We know that subsequent genetic mutations are acquired over one’s lifetime, but how many mutations and which ones trigger the change to cancer are still in question. Is disease progression an even continuum or is there an ‘event’? It is generally accepted that certain healthy lifestyle habits prevent the acquisition of subsequent genetic mutations. Maintaining a healthy body weight, eating a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet, being mindful of sun exposure, not smoking, being moderate with alcohol consumption, preventing exposure to radiation/benzene/insecticide/pesticide/harmful chemicals, and keeping active are helpful preventative measures. Additionally, it has been established that chronic stress increases risk of disease, so maintaining a balanced lifestyle where stress levels can be kept in check via mind-body practices such as meditation may be beneficial.
Through our joint grant offering with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, we are also funding ‘translational research’ into our disorder. Translational research applies research findings to a direct, practical human context, aiming to ‘translate’ findings into directing medical practices. For example, researchers may find that there exists a drug that could work on promoting one of the two functional RUNX1 genes, thereby keeping RUNX1 functionality up and preventing the onset of disease. When you subscribe to our newsletter, we aim to keep you informed about research that could affect your livelihood.