Genetics of Clonal Hematopoiesis of Indeterminate Potential

Published by Luke Morais on

Genetics of Clonal Hematopoiesis of Indeterminate Potential


What is Clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP)

CHIP is a condition that happens when a person gets older. It’s when a small part of the DNA in their blood cells changes in a way that makes them grow faster than normal. This can make a person more likely to get blood cancer, heart problems, or even die. 


How was the study done?

Scientists want to learn more about changes in DNA over time, called CH mutations, in people who have been to the hospital more than once. They have already studied a few people and found some changes, but now they want to study thousands more people to find more changes. They will use a special test to look at their DNA at two different times, at least one year apart, and look for changes in three ways: 

1) to find the specific gene and mutation that caused the change

2) to see how fast the changes grew

3) to see if some changes grew while others shrank

They also want to find out what things might make these changes in DNA grow faster or slower. They have already found some things that might be important, like certain genes or proteins, and will look for these things in people who have already been to the hospital and had their DNA tested. They will also look at other information like age and smoking to see if these things might also be important. 


What is the importance of this study?

If researchers can figure out what makes the changes in DNA happen faster in people with CHIP, they might be able to find ways to slow them down. This could help prevent people from getting sick with things like blood cancer or heart problems. They might be able to do this by recommending changes to people’s lifestyles or by giving them medicine. Understanding these things better could help keep people healthy as they get older.