DNA methylation as a mediator of in utero exposures on the risk of childhood ALL

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Published: 23 Sep 2016
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Jessica Timms - PhD student, Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK

Jessica Timms speaks with ecancer at Childhood Cancer 2016 about how environmental factors, including parental diet and behaviour, can increase childhood risk of disease development, mediated by DNA methylation.

She describes the methylation process as a 'second hit' that may contribute as a driver of childhood leukaemia, and notes lesser-known exposures including pesticides, paint and caffeine as risk factors in need of wider awareness.

Timms also discusses the infection hypothesis of disease development; that children who go through less social exposure may be more susceptible to DNA damage resulting from infection, and subsequently to leukaemia.