newsinfomain leukaemia 170517

Associate Professor Allen Yeoh from the Department of Paediatrics at NUS Medicine shared how the chemotherapy drug mercaptopurine works, to treat children with leukaemia. When mercaptopurine is incorporated into the DNA, it causes a system malfunction within the whole DNA strand, slowing its growth and causing the leukaemia cells to die. After two years or treating children with leukaemia with mercaptopurine, most of the leukaemia cells would have died, giving the kids a new lease of life. However, Assoc Prof Yeoh cautioned that Asian children are more sensitive to mercaptopurine, being able to tolerate two-thirds of the usual dose of Caucasian children.

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