Study Finds Gene Mutation Common in Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Reports the Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Center

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Mayo Clinic researchers say the identification of a mutated gene frequently found in Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma may open the door to new treatments.

TAK1 protein targeting for NHL

Therapeutic targeting of MYD88 signaling pathways may be clinically useful.

A new report published in Blood Cancer Journal and detailed by the Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Center finds that a high percentage of patients with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma have a mutation on their MYD88 gene (MYD88L265P), which in turn can affect their immune system B-cells. B-cells or T-cells are the cells that become cancerous in Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The finding is significant because it may offer a new target for treatment of this cancer that affects nearly 70,000 Americans each year.

Mayo Clinic researchers used whole-exome sequencing, a method of analyzing the DNA, to discover that a high percentage of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma patients, including 97% of patients with a rare lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma called Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia (WM,) have the mutation.

“Due to the high frequency of MYD88 mutation in WM and other Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphomas, and its known effects on malignant B-cell survival, therapeutic targeting of MYD88 signaling pathways may be clinically useful,” the authors conclude.

Further study revealed that the signaling protein known as TAK1 is an “essential mediator” of MYD88-driven signaling, cellular proliferation, and secretion of cytokines (needed for cell movement) in Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma cells. According to the authors, the finding means that treatments that inhibit TAK1 may offer a method for treating WM and other Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphomas at the cellular level.

“Our studies highlight the biological significance of MYD88L265P in Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and reveal TAK1 inhibition to be a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of WM and other diseases characterized by MYD88L265P,” they write.

Scientists are still uncertain about what causes immune system cells called lymphocytes to become malignant, resulting in Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Most agree that Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is probably triggered by a combination of factors including genes, immune system abnormalities, infectious exposures, and environmental factors.

The original study appears in Blood Cancer Journal. (Ansell, SM, et al, “Activation of TAK1 by MYD88L265P drives malignant B-cell Growth in Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma”, February 14, 2014, Blood Cancer Journal,

The Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Center is part of the Cancer Monthly organization. The Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Center has been established by Cancer Monthly to provide more comprehensive information on the causes, diagnosis, and treatments for the many different subtypes of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. For over ten years, Cancer Monthly has been the only centralized source of cancer treatment results. Patients can see the actual survival rate, quality-of-life indicators, and other key data for approximately 1,500 different cancer treatments. Cancer Monthly provides timely and ground-breaking news on the causes, diagnoses and treatments of the most common cancers including Bladder, Brain, Breast, Colon, Kidney (Renal), Liver, Lung (NSCLC), Ovarian, Prostate, and Rectal Cancers, Melanoma, Mesothelioma, and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Written for patients and their loved ones, Cancer Monthly helps families make more informed treatment decisions.

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Cancer Monthy
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