EZH2 Represents a New Target for Treatment of B-cell Lymphomas

wendybeguelinBy Wendy Béguelin, PhD

Chemotherapy for diffuse large B-cell lymphomas can have side effects and is not always effective. By targeting proteins that drive and define the lymphoma, it may be possible to reduce  our reliance on chemotherapy. Most B-cell lymphomas arise from a structure called the “germinal center” in lymph nodes. During the normal immune response, B-cells from germinal centers express high levels of proteins called BCL6 and EZH2. The combined and coordinated action of BCL6 and EZH2 can induce specific genetic changes that result in the development of malignant lymphomas. Our research, presented as 1 of 6 papers chosen from over 6,000 during the plenary session of the recent 2013 American Society of Hematology, suggests that combinations of BCL6 and EZH2 inhibitors are highly effective in destroying lymphomas and thus represent an exciting new, rationally designed treatment regimen. Fortunately, EZH2 inhibitors are already in phase I clinical trials, and specific and effective BCL6 inhibitors will be going into clinical trials.

In the Melnick Lab at Weill Cornell Medical College we are working with colleagues to develop new strategies to eradicate lymphoma and improve patient care. Please look to this space for further updates on lymphoma research in the Lymphoma Program at Weill Cornell. 

Author: lymphomaprogram

Located on the Upper East Side of New York City, the Lymphoma Program at Weill Cornell Medical College/NewYork Presbyterian Hospital is internationally recognized for our efforts to enable patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Hodgkin disease and related disorders to have the best possible clinical outcome, including cure when possible.

2 thoughts on “EZH2 Represents a New Target for Treatment of B-cell Lymphomas”

  1. Hello Dr. Beguelin ..I was pleased to read about your work with DLBCL as I am undergoing treatment for DLBCL with R-CHOP and experiencing difficult, side effects. It is very reassuring to know that there might be something there for me in case I do not achieve remission or relapse…As the former National Spokesperson for the American Cancer Society and recipient of the Award of Courage from President Reagan I have been enlisted by the Leukemia/lymphoma Society to raise $100,000 . They said they are well acquainted with Dr.Melnick and his laboratory. May you and all who labor to help us live be strengthened in the valuable work you are undertaking…Sincerely ..Rabbi Hirshel Jaffe …Peekskill NY …www.runningrabbi.wordpress.com

  2. Dear Rabbi Jaffe,

    Thank you for your kind and encouraging words. It’s very gratifying to hear an acknowledgment of the research done at WCMC.

    From myself and all the other researchers here at WCMC, we wish you the best.

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