Reporting in Nature Immunology, Weill Cornell’s Dr. Ari Melnick and his research team have reported an important research breakthrough in diffuse large-B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) that may offer hope for new treatments for aggressive lymphomas.
Dr. Melnick has found that it is possible to shut down the protein Bcl6, a powerful master regulatory transcription factor that is the key to survival for many aggressive lymphomas arising from the B-cells.
“The finding comes as a very welcome surprise,” says the study’s lead investigator, Dr. Ari Melnick, Gebroe Family Professor of Hematology/Oncology and director of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Center for Biomedical and Physical Sciences at Weill Cornell.
The protein Bcl6 was previously considered too complex to target with individual drugs, because of its centrality in the functioning of the body’s healthy immune cells.
“This means the drugs we have developed against Bcl6 are more likely to be significantly less toxic and safer for patients with this cancer than we realized,” says Dr. Melnick.
DLBCL is the most common subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphoma — the seventh most frequently diagnosed cancer, with many patients resistant to currently available treatments. Presently, there are ongoing clinical trials for those suffering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other forms of lymphoma at the Weill Cornell Lymphoma Center.
The full press release can be read here.