Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Smoking May Change Type Of Lymphoma Into More Lethal Form Of Cancer

Date:
November 4, 2002
Source:
Northwestern University
Summary:
A Northwestern University investigator has hypothesized that smoking may play a dual role in the development of a cancer of the lymph glands called follicular lymphoma -- first causing it to develop and then transforming it into diffuse large cell lymphoma, an aggressive cancer generally associated with a poor prognosis.

A Northwestern University investigator has hypothesized that smoking may play a dual role in the development of a cancer of the lymph glands called follicular lymphoma -- first causing it to develop and then transforming it into diffuse large cell lymphoma, an aggressive cancer generally associated with a poor prognosis.

Cancer researcher Ronald Gartenhaus, M.D., has been studying possible links between tobacco smoking and the genetic mutations associated with the transformation of follicular lymphoma, for which he recently received a $300,000 grant from the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute. Gartenhaus is associate professor of medicine at The Feinberg School of Medicine and a researcher at The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.

More than 50,000 new cases of lymphoma were reported in 2001 -- a significant increase over the past 20 years even when HIV-related lymphomas are excluded. A small portion of the increased incidence of lymphomas has been attributed to exposure to chemical carcinogens such as herbicides and pesticides as well as to radiation. Now, smoking -- long known to cause cancer of the lung and other organs -- has been implicated in the development of a hematologic malignancy.

While this subset of lymphomas usually follows an indolent clinical course, a significant percentage transform into an aggressive large cell lymphoma with poor prognosis, Gartenhaus said. The vast majority of cases of follicular lymphoma have rearrangement of the Bcl-2 oncogene. The cases of follicular lymphoma that transform into diffuse large cell lymphoma have additional genetic alterations, particularly, mutations of the p53 tumor suppressor gene.

Research by others has shown that exposure to the aromatic hydrocarbons found in tobacco smoke causes distinct mutations in the p53 tumor suppressor gene.

One of p53's major roles is to arrest cells that have sustained DNA damage from proceeding into the phase of the cell cycle involving DNA synthesis.

If, however, the p53 gene is mutated and the cell divides before repair can occur, the errant DNA sequence is copied in its mutated form and daughter cells then inherit a mutated gene, which may confer a growth advantage or drug-resistant phenotype, Gartenhaus said.

He further noted that in some cases of transformed follicular lymphoma, there is also a defect called microsatellite instability that causes uncontrolled variation and "slippage" of coding sequences during DNA replication. A study performed elsewhere recently implicated smoking in the development of microsatellite instability in some forms of colon cancer.

Currently, Gartenhaus and his laboratory group are reviewing smoking histories of patients with transformed follicular lymphomas and examining tumor DNA to derive information about the frequency and spectrum of p53 mutations that are present in smokers and nonsmokers. They also are studying transformed lymphomas from both smokers and nonsmokers for the presence of microsatellite instability.

"If indeed smoking is associated with the development of microsatellite instability, then the loss of DNA replication repair function may lead to increased mutations in genes critical to cell growth regulation and possibly drug resistance," Gartenhaus said.

"The findings of our study may have therapeutic implications perhaps requiring alternative therapies in patients with these molecular defects," he said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Northwestern University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Northwestern University. "Smoking May Change Type Of Lymphoma Into More Lethal Form Of Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 November 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/11/021104064253.htm>.
Northwestern University. (2002, November 4). Smoking May Change Type Of Lymphoma Into More Lethal Form Of Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/11/021104064253.htm
Northwestern University. "Smoking May Change Type Of Lymphoma Into More Lethal Form Of Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/11/021104064253.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins