Narrator: This is Science Today. In studying the
incidence of childhood leukemia, researchers aim to
first understand the genetic events that lead to this
disease. Joseph Wiemels, a research epidemiologist
at the University of California, San Francisco says
from there, researchers can then devise preventative
Preventive measures may just be recommendations or
they may be a cancer vaccine. It turns out that stimulating
your immune system early in life actually prevents
childhood leukemia. Normal vaccines given at a normal
time is actually preventative for leukemia.
Narrator: Having older siblings also gives
a child less risk of leukemia, because infections
are passed down to the child from the older children
at a very early age.
There are several pieces of evidence like that coming
together, which show that it's actually early stimulation
of the immune system which then modulates these cells
that eventually become leukemic. They become modulated
and suppressed at an early age in life if you get
the proper stimulation of your immune system.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.