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Genetic convergence of rare lymphomas

Shingleton, Jennifer, R.; Dave, Sandeep, S.

Current Opinion in Hematology: July 2018 - Volume 25 - Issue 4 - p 307–314
doi: 10.1097/MOH.0000000000000435
LYMPHOID BIOLOGY AND DISEASES: Edited by Ari Melnick

Purpose of review We review the genetic foundations of different rare lymphomas to examine their shared origins. These data indicate the potential application of genomics to improve the diagnosis and treatment of these rare diseases.

Recent findings Next generation sequencing technologies have provided an important window into the genetic underpinnings of lymphomas. A growing body of evidence indicates that although some genetic alterations are specific to certain diseases, others are shared across different lymphomas. Many such genetic events have already demonstrated clinical utility, such as BRAF V600E that confers sensitivity to vemurafenib in patients with hairy cell leukemia.

Summary The rareness of many lymphoma subtypes makes the conduct of clinical trials and recruitment of significant numbers of patients impractical. However, a knowledge of the shared genetic origins of these rare lymphomas has the potential to inform ‘basket’ clinical trials in which multiple lymphoma subtypes are included. These trials would include patients based on the presence of alterations in targetable driver genes. Such approaches would be greatly strengthened by a systematic assessment of significant patient numbers from each subtype using next generation sequencing.

Cancer Genetics and Genomics Program, Duke Cancer Institute, Center for Genomic and Computational Biology, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA

Correspondence to Sandeep S. Dave, Professor of Medicine, Cancer Genetics and Genomics Program, Duke Cancer Institute, Center for Genomic and Computational Biology, Duke University, 101 Science Drive, Box 3382, Durham, NC 27708, USA. Tel: +1 919 681 1992; e-mail: sandeep.dave@duke.edu

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