Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma Genome Cracked Open

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Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester have completed the first known genome-wide analysis of peripheral T-cell lymphomas (PTCL).

According to their research, published in Blood, the journal of the American Society of Hematology, and titled, "Genome-wide Analysis Reveals Recurrent Structural Abnormalities of TP63 and other p53-related Genes in Peripheral T-cell Lymphomas" a number of genomic abnormalities have been discovered that should help researchers develop more targeted therapies against PTCLs, such as:

  • PTCLs feature at least 13 chromosomal rearrangements
  • Five of them involve p53 genes
  • Two newly uncovered ones, TP53 and TP63, indicate a poorer prognosis

T-cell lymphomas are underclassified

This is good news for in the world of T-cell lymphomas. Long the poorly understood and widely ignored step-child to lymphomas of B-cell origin, T-cell lymphomas in general have a poorer prognosis than B-cell lymphomas, and remain extremely under-classified.

In fact, while there are a handful of PTCL subtype classifications, more often than not the diagnosis for many patients is PTCL-NOS, or peripheral T-cell lymphoma not otherwise specified, a classification that Mayo researcher Andrew Feldman refers to as a "wastebasket diagnosis" because it includes so many variations that remain poorly understood, if understood at all.

One of the hopes from having carried out the first genome-wide look at PTCLs is that not only will it lead to better therapies, but that accuracy in diagnosis will improve. While accurate diagnoses of most cancers, including B-cell lymphomas, can be made by most pathologists, T-cell lymphomas are so difficult to diagnose that second opinions ought to be mandatory, and they should always be made by a certified blood pathologist.

"Every time I diagnose a peripheral T-cell lymphoma, I know that two out of three patients will succumb to that lymphoma," said Feldman. "That's a very unsatisfying feeling, and I hope that our research can help change those statistics."

Source: Mayo Clinic

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