Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Novel Test Identifies Leukemia Patients Likely To Respond To New Therapy

Date:
February 27, 2007
Source:
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Summary:
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.

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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "Novel Test Identifies Leukemia Patients Likely To Respond To New Therapy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 February 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070220182914.htm>.
Albert Einstein College of Medicine. (2007, February 27). Novel Test Identifies Leukemia Patients Likely To Respond To New Therapy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070220182914.htm
Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "Novel Test Identifies Leukemia Patients Likely To Respond To New Therapy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070220182914.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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