New Lymphoma Bull's-Eye

Diffuse large B cell lymphoma may have new therapeutic target in FBXO11

(RxWiki News) It's the most aggressive blood cancer. Unfortunately, Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) is also the most common form of lymphoma in adults. But there is some good news - researchers may have a new target for treating this disease.

Researchers have discovered a gene that's been shown to suppress a protein in B-cells that grows wild in lymphoma. This discovery could lead to the development of new drugs to treat DLBCL.

"Always ask about all your treatment options."

This study was led by researchers at NYU Cancer Institute at NYU Langone Medical Center. Senior study author, Michele Pagano, M.D., professor of oncology and pathology at NYU Langone Medical Center, says this research shows that the mutation or absence of the FBXO11 gene in B-cells can result in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma.

Lymphoma is a blood cancer that impacts the lymphatic system, which the body needs to fight off infection and disease. DLBCL develops in the B-cells, which are white blood cells in the lymphatic tissue. When there are mutations in the genes of the these cells, DLBCL can develop and spread throughout the body.

Most DLBCL patients have too much of a protein called B-Cell Lymphoma (BCL6), along with mutations in the FBXO11 genes. Researchers found that FBXO11 manages the level of BCL6 proteins, which grow out of control in DLBCL.

So in more simplistic terms, by using the good suppressor gene, FBXO11, to control the bad protein, BCL6, scientists were able to kill off tumor cells.

Dr. Pagano explains this discovery could mean "FBXO11-mediated regulation of BCL6 is a new potential therapeutic strategy for the future treatment of lymphoma."

The new study was published in the November 23, 2011 issue of Nature.

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Review Date: 
November 30, 2011