Special Issue "Recent Advances in the Pathogenesis of B Cell Malignancies"

A special issue of Cancers (ISSN 2072-6694).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Paul Murray
Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
Interests: lymphoma; diffuse large B cell lymphoma; Hodgkin lymphoma; Epstein–Barr virus; nasopharyngeal carcinoma
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Recent advances in our understanding of the biology of malignant B cell lymphomas are already beginning to revolutionise the way in which patients are treated, providing new targeted therapies that increase survival and highlighting new opportunities for stratification. This Special Issue focuses on these cutting-edge advances in basic biology that are fuelling our changing understanding of the pathogenesis of these tumours. We are happy to consider reviews and original articles focused on exploring the fundamental biology of B cell lymphomas.

Prof. Dr. Paul Murray
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Cancers is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Clinical Interest of LMO2 Testing for the Diagnosis of Aggressive Large B-Cell Lymphomas
Cancers 2020, 12(4), 884; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12040884 - 05 Apr 2020
Abstract
MYC rearrangements usually confer aggressive biological behavior to large B-cell lymphomas. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the relevance of LMO2 detection to the clinical approach to these tumors. First, the ability of LMO2 loss of expression to recognize the presence of [...] Read more.
MYC rearrangements usually confer aggressive biological behavior to large B-cell lymphomas. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the relevance of LMO2 detection to the clinical approach to these tumors. First, the ability of LMO2 loss of expression to recognize the presence of MYC rearrangements was evaluated. A series of 365 samples obtained from 351 patients, including 28 Burkitt lymphoma, 230 diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, 30 high-grade B-cell lymphoma with MYC and BCL2/BCL6 rearrangements, eight high-grade B-cell lymphoma-NOS, 43 transformed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, and 26 high-grade follicular lymphomas was analyzed. Among the CD10-positive tumors prospectively analyzed in whole tissue sections, LMO2 negative expression obtained values of 88% sensitivity, 94% specificity, and 93% accuracy, proving the utility of LMO2 to screen MYC rearrangements. In addition, survival analyses were performed in a series of 155 patients. As per univariate analyses, the prognosis relevance of LMO2 was as useful as that of the diagnostic categories, MYC rearrangements, and MYC immunohistochemistry. Multivariate models revealed that both LMO2 (hazard ratio 0.51 p = 0.02) and IPI (hazard ratio 1.67 p < 0.005) were independent variables predicting overall survival. Finally, MYC and LMO2 mRNA expression were analyzed in a small group of cases. Taken together, these findings show the interest of LMO2 testing in large B-cell lymphomas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in the Pathogenesis of B Cell Malignancies)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
BCL-2 Proteins in Pathogenesis and Therapy of B-Cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas
Cancers 2020, 12(4), 938; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12040938 - 10 Apr 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The ability to inhibit mitochondrial apoptosis is a hallmark of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas (B-NHL). Activation of mitochondrial apoptosis is tightly controlled by members of B-cell leukemia/lymphoma-2 (BCL-2) family proteins via protein-protein interactions. Altering the balance between anti-apoptotic and pro-apoptotic BCL-2 proteins leads to [...] Read more.
The ability to inhibit mitochondrial apoptosis is a hallmark of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas (B-NHL). Activation of mitochondrial apoptosis is tightly controlled by members of B-cell leukemia/lymphoma-2 (BCL-2) family proteins via protein-protein interactions. Altering the balance between anti-apoptotic and pro-apoptotic BCL-2 proteins leads to apoptosis evasion and extended survival of malignant cells. The pro-survival BCL-2 proteins: B-cell leukemia/lymphoma-2 (BCL-2/BCL2), myeloid cell leukemia-1 (MCL-1/MCL1) and B-cell lymphoma-extra large (BCL-XL/BCL2L1) are frequently (over)expressed in B-NHL, which plays a crucial role in lymphoma pathogenesis, disease progression, and drug resistance. The efforts to develop inhibitors of anti-apoptotic BCL-2 proteins have been underway for several decades and molecules targeting anti-apoptotic BCL-2 proteins are in various stages of clinical testing. Venetoclax is a highly specific BCL-2 inhibitor, which has been approved by the US Food and Drug Agency (FDA) for the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and is in advanced clinical testing in other types of B-NHL. In this review, we summarize the biology of BCL-2 proteins and the mechanisms of how these proteins are deregulated in distinct B-NHL subtypes. We describe the mechanism of action of BH3-mimetics and the status of their clinical development in B-NHL. Finally, we summarize the mechanisms of sensitivity/resistance to venetoclax. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in the Pathogenesis of B Cell Malignancies)
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Open AccessReview
Precision Medicine Management of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
Cancers 2020, 12(3), 642; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12030642 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common type of leukemia in western countries, with an incidence of approximately 5.1/100,000 new cases per year. Some patients may never require treatment, whereas others relapse early after front line therapeutic approaches. Recent whole genome and [...] Read more.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common type of leukemia in western countries, with an incidence of approximately 5.1/100,000 new cases per year. Some patients may never require treatment, whereas others relapse early after front line therapeutic approaches. Recent whole genome and whole exome sequencing studies have allowed a better understanding of CLL pathogenesis and the identification of genetic lesions with potential clinical relevance. Consistently, precision medicine plays a pivotal role in the treatment algorithm of CLL, since the integration of molecular biomarkers with the clinical features of the disease may guide treatment choices. Most CLL patients present at the time of diagnosis with an early stage disease and are managed with a watch and wait strategy. For CLL patients requiring therapy, the CLL treatment armamentarium includes both chemoimmunotherapy strategies and biological drugs. The efficacy of these treatment strategies relies upon specific molecular features of the disease. TP53 disruption (including both TP53 mutation and 17p deletion) is the strongest predictor of chemo-refractoriness, and the assessment of TP53 status is the first and most important decisional node in the first line treatment algorithm. The presence of TP53 disruption mandates treatment with biological drugs that inhibit the B cell receptor or, alternatively, the B-cell lymphoma 2 (BCL2) pathway and can, at least in part, circumvent the chemorefractoriness of TP53-disrupted patients. Beside TP53 disruption, the mutational status of immunoglobulin heavy variable (IGHV) genes also helps clinicians to improve treatment tailoring. In fact, patients carrying mutated IGHV genes in the absence of TP53 disruption experience a long-lasting and durable response to chemoimmunotherapy after fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and rituximab (FCR) treatment with a survival superimposable to that of a matched general population. In contrast, patients with unmutated IGHV genes respond poorly to chemoimmunotherapy and deserve treatment with B cell receptor inhibitors. Minimal residual disease is also emerging as a relevant biomarker with potential clinical implications. Overall, precision medicine is now a mainstay in the management and treatment stratification of CLL. The identification of novel predictive biomarkers will allow further improvements in the treatment tailoring of this leukemia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in the Pathogenesis of B Cell Malignancies)
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Open AccessReview
Emerging Role of Podocalyxin in the Progression of Mature B-Cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Cancers 2020, 12(2), 396; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12020396 - 08 Feb 2020
Abstract
Mature B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL) constitutes a group of heterogeneous malignant lymphoproliferative diseases ranging from indolent to highly aggressive forms. Although the survival after chemo-immunotherapy treatment of mature B-NHL has increased over the last years, many patients relapse or remain refractory due to [...] Read more.
Mature B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL) constitutes a group of heterogeneous malignant lymphoproliferative diseases ranging from indolent to highly aggressive forms. Although the survival after chemo-immunotherapy treatment of mature B-NHL has increased over the last years, many patients relapse or remain refractory due to drug resistance, presenting an unfavorable prognosis. Hence, there is an urgent need to identify new prognostic markers and therapeutic targets. Podocalyxin (PODXL), a sialomucin overexpressed in a variety of tumor cell types and associated with their aggressiveness, has been implicated in multiple aspects of cancer progression, although its participation in hematological malignancies remains unexplored. New evidence points to a role for PODXL in mature B-NHL cell proliferation, survival, migration, drug resistance, and metabolic reprogramming, as well as enhanced levels of PODXL in mature B-NHL. Here, we review the current knowledge on the contribution of PODXL to tumorigenesis, highlighting and discussing its role in mature B-NHL progression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in the Pathogenesis of B Cell Malignancies)
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Open AccessReview
Epstein-Barr Virus-Associated Post-Transplant Lymphoproliferative Disorders after Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: Pathogenesis, Risk Factors and Clinical Outcomes
Cancers 2020, 12(2), 328; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12020328 - 01 Feb 2020
Abstract
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a ubiquitous virus belonging to the human γ-herpes virus subfamily. After primary infection, EBV maintains a life-long latent infection. A major concern is that EBV can cause a diverse range of neoplasms and autoimmune diseases. In addition, patients undergoing [...] Read more.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a ubiquitous virus belonging to the human γ-herpes virus subfamily. After primary infection, EBV maintains a life-long latent infection. A major concern is that EBV can cause a diverse range of neoplasms and autoimmune diseases. In addition, patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation or solid organ transplantation can experience post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders (PTLDs) due to dysfunction or suppression of host’s immune system, or uncontrolled proliferation of EBV-infected cells. In recent years, the number of EBV-associated PTLD cases has increased. This review focuses on the current understandings of EBV-associated PTLD pathogenesis, as well as the risk factors and clinical outcomes for patients after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in the Pathogenesis of B Cell Malignancies)
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Open AccessReview
CD22 Expression in B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: Biological Significance and Implications for Inotuzumab Therapy in Adults
Cancers 2020, 12(2), 303; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12020303 - 28 Jan 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
CD22 is a surface molecule expressed early during the ontogeny of B cells in the bone marrow and spleen, and can be found on B cells isolated from the different lymphoid compartments in humans. CD22 is expressed by most blasts from the majority [...] Read more.
CD22 is a surface molecule expressed early during the ontogeny of B cells in the bone marrow and spleen, and can be found on B cells isolated from the different lymphoid compartments in humans. CD22 is expressed by most blasts from the majority (60–90%) of B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL). Current therapies in adults with newly diagnosed B-ALL are associated with complete remission (CR) rates of 50–90%. However, 30–60% of these patients relapse, and only 25–40% achieve disease-free survival of three years or more. Chemotherapy regimens for patients with refractory/relapsed B-ALL are associated with CR rates ranging from 31% to 44%. Novel immune-targeted therapies, such as blinatumomab and inotuzumab (a humanized anti-CD22 monoclonal antibody conjugated to the cytotoxic antibiotic agent calicheamicin), provide potential means of circumventing chemo-refractory B-ALL cells through novel mechanisms of action. Eighty percent of inotuzumab-treated B-ALL patients may achieve a CR state. This review is focused on the biological and clinical activities of CD22 antibodies in B-ALL, and provides evidence about the potential role played by qualitative and quantitative analysis of the CD22 molecule on individual B-ALL blasts in predicting the depletion of leukemic cells, and, ultimately, leading to better clinical response rates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in the Pathogenesis of B Cell Malignancies)
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Open AccessReview
Autoimmune Complications in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia in the Era of Targeted Drugs
Cancers 2020, 12(2), 282; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12020282 - 23 Jan 2020
Abstract
Autoimmune phenomena are frequently observed in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and are mainly attributable to underlying dysfunctions of the immune system. Autoimmune cytopenias (AIC) affect 4–7% of patients with CLL and mainly consist of autoimmune hemolytic anemia and immune thrombocytopenia. Although [...] Read more.
Autoimmune phenomena are frequently observed in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and are mainly attributable to underlying dysfunctions of the immune system. Autoimmune cytopenias (AIC) affect 4–7% of patients with CLL and mainly consist of autoimmune hemolytic anemia and immune thrombocytopenia. Although less common, non-hematological autoimmune manifestations have also been reported. Treatment of CLL associated AIC should be primarily directed against the autoimmune phenomenon, and CLL specific therapy should be reserved to refractory cases or patients with additional signs of disease progression. New targeted drugs (ibrutinib, idelalisib and venetoclax) recently entered the therapeutic armamentarium of CLL, showing excellent results in terms of efficacy and became an alternative option to standard chemo-immunotherapy for the management of CLL associated AIC. However, the possible role of these drugs in inducing or exacerbating autoimmune phenomena still needs to be elucidated. In this article, we review currently available data concerning autoimmune phenomena in patients with CLL, particularly focusing on patients treated with ibrutinib, idelalisib, or venetoclax, and we discuss the possible role of these agents in the management of AIC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in the Pathogenesis of B Cell Malignancies)
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Open AccessReview
Molecular Complexity of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma: Can It Be a Roadmap for Precision Medicine?
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 185; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010185 - 11 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common non-Hodgkin lymphoma; it features extreme molecular heterogeneity regardless of the classical cell-of-origin (COO) classification. Despite this, the standard therapeutic approach is still immunochemotherapy (rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone—R-CHOP), which allows a 60% [...] Read more.
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common non-Hodgkin lymphoma; it features extreme molecular heterogeneity regardless of the classical cell-of-origin (COO) classification. Despite this, the standard therapeutic approach is still immunochemotherapy (rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone—R-CHOP), which allows a 60% overall survival (OS) rate, but up to 40% of patients experience relapse or refractory (R/R) disease. With the purpose of searching for new clinical parameters and biomarkers helping to make a better DLBCL patient characterization and stratification, in the last years a series of large discovery genomic and transcriptomic studies has been conducted, generating a wealth of information that needs to be put in order. We reviewed these researches, trying ultimately to understand if there are bases offering a roadmap toward personalized and precision medicine also for DLBCL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in the Pathogenesis of B Cell Malignancies)
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Open AccessReview
Deregulated NKL Homeobox Genes in B-Cell Lymphoma
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1874; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121874 - 26 Nov 2019
Abstract
Recently, we have described physiological expression patterns of NKL homeobox genes in early hematopoiesis and in subsequent lymphopoiesis. We identified nine genes which constitute the so-called NKL-code. Aberrant overexpression of code-members or ectopically activated non-code NKL homeobox genes are described in T-cell leukemia [...] Read more.
Recently, we have described physiological expression patterns of NKL homeobox genes in early hematopoiesis and in subsequent lymphopoiesis. We identified nine genes which constitute the so-called NKL-code. Aberrant overexpression of code-members or ectopically activated non-code NKL homeobox genes are described in T-cell leukemia and in T- and B-cell lymphoma, highlighting their oncogenic role in lymphoid malignancies. Here, we introduce the NKL-code in normal hematopoiesis and focus on deregulated NKL homeobox genes in B-cell lymphoma, including HLX, MSX1 and NKX2-2 in Hodgkin lymphoma; HLX, NKX2-1 and NKX6-3 in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; and NKX2-3 in splenic marginal zone lymphoma. Thus, the roles of various members of the NKL homeobox gene subclass are considered in normal and pathological hematopoiesis in detail. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in the Pathogenesis of B Cell Malignancies)
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