Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL) is a rare but lethal cancer involving CD4 T-cells. ATLL is diagnosed most often in Japan and in the Caribbean, where the prognosis is worse for reasons that have been unclear. In a study published online on August 13 in Blood, Murali Janakiram, M.D., Amit K. Verma, M.B.B.S., B. Hilda Ye, Ph.D., and colleagues sequenced the genomes of cells from 30 Caribbean-American ATLL patients. Compared to Japanese patients, the Caribbean-American ATLL patients had a distinct genomic profile and a significantly higher frequency of epigenetic mutations, which is associated with a worse prognosis. The findings support a clinical trial testing whether Caribbean-American ATLL patients can benefit from DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) inhibitors, which can “correct” epigenetic mutations. Dr. Janakiram is an assistant professor of medicine. Dr. Verma is professor of medicine and of developmental and molecular biology at Einstein and attending physician in oncology at Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care. Dr. Ye is an associate professor of cell biology at Einstein.
Posted on: Wednesday, October 03, 2018