Researchers Identify Genetic Drivers of Most Common Form of Lymphoma

chart of the Landscape of Genetic Drivers in 1,001 DLBCLs
GCB News

Researchers Identify Genetic Drivers of Most Common Form of Lymphoma

More than 150 genetic mutations play a role in diffuse large B cell lymphoma

Lymphoma is the most common blood cancer, but the diagnosis belies a wildly diverse and little understood genetic foundation for the disease that hampers successful treatment.

An international research effort led by Duke Cancer Institute scientists has been working to better understand the genetic underpinnings of the most prevalent form of this cancer -- diffuse large B cell lymphoma – and how those genes might play a role in patients’ responses to therapies.

The researchers analyzed tumor samples from 1,001 patients who had been diagnosed with diffuse large B cell lymphoma over the past decade. These patients had been treated at 12 institutions around the world.
 
Using whole exome sequencing, the researchers pinpointed 150 genetic drivers of the disease, many newly identified. The team then tested to see if there were any correlations between the genes and how well patients had responded to standard therapies. The team applied a genome editing technique known as CRISPR to knock out each of the 20,000 genes in lymphoma cells to identify those that are critical for lymphoma cells to grow. By assessing the genetic, CRISPR and clinical results, the researchers found several critical genetic links that could help guide treatments.
 
These findings published online Oct. 5 in the journal Cell.
 
“This work provides a comprehensive road map in terms of research and clinical priorities,” said Sandeep Davé, M.D., professor of medicine at Duke. “We have very good data now to pursue new and existing therapies that might target the genetic mutations we identified. Additionally, this data could also be used to develop genetic markers that steer patients to therapies that would be most effective.”
 
In addition to Davé, study authors from Duke include co-first authors Anupama Reddy, Jenny Zhang, Nicholas S. Davis, Andrea B. Moffitt, along with Cassandra L. Love, Alexander Waldrop, Rachel Rempel, Tiffany Tzeng, Lanie E. Happ, Tushar Dave, Deepthi Rajagopalan, Jyotishka Datta and David B. Dunson. A full list of authors and their institutions is listed in the study.
 
The study received funding from the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, Department of Defense
and the National Institutes of Health.

Story originally published by Duke Health News

Related News

The liver stage of the malaria parasite Plasmodium (blue) relies on a host protein called aquaporin-3 (pink) to survive and copy itself

Malaria-Causing Parasite Manipulates Liver Cells to Survive

Discovery could lead to new treatments before symptoms appear
view
hand grasping an ankle wrapped in an Ace bandage

New Duke Research Holds Promise for New Treatments to Repair Degenerative Tissue

Techniques include gene editing and enhancing body's own repair mechanisms
view
students standing in a group

2018 Summer Scholars Program pulls in students from across the country

GCB has partnered with the Duke Center for Applied Genomics and Precision Medicine (CAGPM) and North Carolina Central University (NCCU) f

view