Mayo Clinic completes first genome-wide analysis of peripheral T-cell lymphomas

Researchers at Mayo Clinic have completed the world's first genome-wide sequencing analysis of peripheral T-cell lymphomas, unlocking the genetic secrets of this poorly understood and highly aggressive cancer of the immune system.

Andrew Feldman, MD, a Mayo Clinic pathologist and Damon Runyun Clinical Investigator, and a team of researchers affiliated with Mayo's Center for Individualised Medicine and Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, found 13 genomic abnormalities that were seen in multiple peripheral T-cell lymphomas.

Of particular interest, five of these abnormalities relate to production and behaviour of the p53 protein - often called the "guardian of the genome" because of the central role it plays in regulating cell life cycles and, therefore, suppressing cancers.

The study, Genome-wide Analysis Reveals Recurrent Structural Abnormalities of TP63 and other p53-related Genes in Peripheral T-cell Lymphomas, is scheduled for early release in the online edition of the journal Blood at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, 1 August  2012.

"Every time I diagnose a peripheral T-cell lymphoma, I know that two out of three patients will succumb to that lymphoma," says Dr Feldman. "That's a very unsatisfying feeling, and I hope that our research can help change those statistics."

Peripheral T-cell lymphomas account for about 12 per cent of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas and carry remarkably high mortality rates. Fewer than 35 percent of patients live five years beyond diagnosis.