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 Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

nachricht Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

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: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>