In a recent study first published online, then as a plenary paper in the February 12 issue of Blood an inter-institutional team of researchers sequenced the genome of classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL). This sequencing allowed researchers to study the changes in proteins in individual patients, which could potentially lead to the development of new therapies targeting the cells affected by cHL. Their findings are especially notable as,
“Now we have a better idea of what mutations there are, and going forward therapies can be adapted to specific patient populations according to their genomic composition,” said senior author Dr. Ethel Cesarman, a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.
Although scientists have sequenced the genomes of many other diseases, the cHL genome has remained elusive due to the difficulty of isolating Reed-Sternberg cells, which usually comprise less than 1 percent of a total cHL tumor. The team employed a technique that separates larger cells and looks at the proteins on their surface, called fluorescence-activated cell sorting, to successfully isolate the Reed-Sternberg cells and sequence the cancer genome, said senior author Dr. Mikhail Roshal, an assistant member in the Department of Pathology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
These findings could potentially lead to more personalized treatment options for patients with cHL. They exemplify the bench to bedside approach taken by the Lymphoma Program and Meyer Cancer Center. Please look to this space for further updates about lymphoma news and clinical trials.