Research ArticleCancer

Distinct biological subtypes and patterns of genome evolution in lymphoma revealed by circulating tumor DNA

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Science Translational Medicine  09 Nov 2016:
Vol. 8, Issue 364, pp. 364ra155
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aai8545

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The telltale DNA in lymphoma

Diffuse large B cell lymphoma is a relatively common type of tumor that can exhibit a wide range of behaviors, from indolent and curable cancers to ones that are very aggressive and difficult to treat. By analyzing DNA in tumor samples and blood of lymphoma patients, Scherer et al. have shown that specific genetic characteristics can determine each tumor’s cell of origin and identify tumors that are going to transform into more aggressive subtypes and may require more intensive treatment. The authors also demonstrated that circulating tumor DNA in the patients’ blood is suitable for this analysis, allowing for periodic monitoring of each patient without repeated invasive biopsies.