Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Novel test identifies lymphoma patients likely to respond to new therapy

22.02.2007
Researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have discovered a genetic signature identifying cases of lymphoma that are uniquely susceptible to a newly developed molecular targeted therapy. As a result, physicians organizing clinical trials of the new therapy will be able to enroll patients who’ll be most likely to benefit from it.

The research was led by Dr. Ari Melnick, assistant professor of developmental & molecular biology and medicine at Einstein, who also developed the new lymphoma therapy. The study appears in the February 20 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Each year more than 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with B cell lymphomas—tumors of cells of the immune system that include Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas. B cells are the immune- system cells that make antibodies. Genetic aberrations can cause B cells to multiply uncontrollably, causing B cell lymphomas.

Dr. Melnick’s study focused on a gene called BCL6. The protein it codes for is a transcriptional repressor, which means that it can shut off the functioning of genes in B cells and other cells of the immune system and prevent them from being expressed. The BCL6 protein is normally produced only during a specific stage of B cell development and is never made again. But deregulation of BCL6 can cause the protein to be produced when it shouldn’t be. The unwelcome presence of the BCL6 protein blocks the expression of important genes that normally protect cells from becoming cancerous. As a result, malignant B-cell lymphomas occur.

Mutations or chromosomal rearrangements that deregulate BCL6 are responsible for many cases of diffuse large B cell lymphoma—an aggressive cancer that accounts for up to 30 percent of newly diagnosed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cases. In a 2004 Nature Medicine article, Dr. Melnick and colleagues described a peptide, which they dubbed BPI, that showed promise in treating B-cell lymphomas by specifically blocking the cancer-causing effects of the BCL6 protein. But until now, there has been no way to distinguish between diffuse large B cell lymphomas that are caused by BCL6 deregulation and those cases in which BCL6 is expressed but doesn’t actually drive the cancer.

Dr. Melnick reasoned that those diffuse large B cell lymphomas that are caused by BCL6 deregulation should have a characteristic “signature” in which the genes targeted by the BCL6 protein are either expressed (turned on) or not expressed. The researchers used state-of-the-art genomics technology to analyze a panel of diffuse large B cell lymphoma cell lines. They found a set of 485 BCL6-controlled genes and confirmed that all lymphomas with the BCL6 signature are killed by BPI while lymphomas without the signature are resistant to the therapy.

“Suitable lymphoma patients—those whose tumor cells exhibit this BCL6 signature --will now have access to a potent and specific therapy that is unlikely to cause the side effects associated with chemotherapy drugs,” says Dr. Melnick. “At the same time, lymphoma patients who don’t fit this genetic profile will be spared a drug treatment that would be ineffective for them.”

Other Einstein scientists involved in the study were Jose M. Polo, Leandro Cerchietti, Kenny Ye and John M. Greally. The researchers also included Przemyslaw Juszczynski and Margaret Shipp of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Stefano Monti of the Broad Institute.

Karen Gardner | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.aecom.yu.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Usher syndrome: Gene therapy restores hearing and balance
25.09.2017 | Institut Pasteur

nachricht MRI contrast agent locates and distinguishes aggressive from slow-growing breast cancer
25.09.2017 | Case Western Reserve University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fraunhofer ISE Pushes World Record for Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cells to 22.3 Percent

25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Usher syndrome: Gene therapy restores hearing and balance

25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine

An international team of physicists a coherent amplification effect in laser excited dielectrics

25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>