Dr. Leandro Cerchietti and colleagues have published a paper in Cancer Discovery that has revealed a critical connection between lymphoma tumors and their microenvironments, which consist of different ecosystems of cells and treatment responsiveness.
The researchers based their study on the analysis of patterns of gene activity in tumor samples taken from the lymph nodes of thousands of lymphoma patients. They found that the tumor’s microenvironment (or ecosystem) plays a strong role in influencing the progression of lymphoma (blood-cell cancer). Additionally, they found that there is a range in the microenvironment ranging from healthy lymph nodes and more responsiveness, to degraded, depleted ecosystems and less responsiveness. This discovery appears to represent a new and independently useful classification of lymphomas.
“The lymphoma microenvironment is essentially another layer of lymphoma biology that we believe we can use for classifying patients more accurately and potentially treating them more effectively,” said Dr. Cerchietti, senior author and Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, WDOM.
Dr. Cerchietti, a member of the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine, collaborated on the study with Dr. John P. Leonard, Richard T. Silver Distinguished Professor of Hematology and Medical Oncology and Executive Vice Chair, WDOM, and with Dr. Giorgio Inghirami, a Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine.
The researchers, using BostonGene’s solution, analyzed data on gene activity detected in samples taken from more than 4,600 DLBCL (diffuse large B-cell lymphoma) patients.