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Son of my best friend was diagnosed with leukemia one week ago. We were all so surprised and shocked. I can't even explain how devastating I felt. I don't know much about leukemia but I heard that someone mentioned some philadelhia chromosome. What is this, and is it connected with the leukemia?

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Sorry to hear about your friend's son. What you have heard is a type of leukemia, probably the one that your friend's son has. This chromosome was named after a city where it was first discovered. The phenomenon was first described in 1960, by scientists from Philadelphia. Philadelphia chromosome or Philadelphia translocation is genetic, chromosomal abnormality that is associated with CML, chronic myelogenous leukemia. It involves exchange of material between chromosome 9 and 22. This abnormality is shown in 95% of the patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia. The exact chromosomal abnormality in Philadelphia chromosome is translocation. Basically, parts of two chromosomes, 9th and 22nd, swap places. Now, I can start talking about the structure of this chromosome, but I am afraid that it will be too complicated to understand. I hope that your friend's son will be ok.
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