Researchers identify genetic drivers of common form of lymphoma

Research shows that more than 150 genetic mutations play a role in diffuse large B cell lymphoma. A
By Amy Wallace   |   Oct. 6, 2017 at 11:46 AM
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Oct. 6 (UPI) -- A recent study by the Duke Cancer Institute helps identify genetic drivers for the most common form of lymphoma, the most common blood cancer.

Researchers analyzed tumor samples from 1,001 patients who had been diagnosed with diffuse large B cell lymphoma, the most common form of lymphoma, over the past 10 years. The team used whole exome sequencing to pinpoint 150 genetic drivers of diffuse large B cell lymphoma, many of which were newly identified.

Researchers involved with the study, published Thursday in Cell, searched for correlations between the genes and patient response to standard treatment using the CRISPR genome editing technique. By knocking out each of the 20,000 genes in lymphoma cells, they were able to identify genes that are critical lymphoma cell growth.

"This work provides a comprehensive road map in terms of research and clinical priorities," Dr. Sandeep Davé, professor of medicine at Duke, said in a press release. "We have very good data now to pursue new and existing therapies that might target the genetic mutations we identified. Additionally, this data could also be used to develop genetic markers that steer patients to therapies that would be most effective."

By assessing the genetic, CRISPR and clinical results, the researchers found several critical genetic links that could help guide treatments.

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