Identification of clinical molecular targets for childhood Burkitt lymphoma


Transl Oncol. 2020 Sep 15;13(12):100855. doi: 10.1016/j.tranon.2020.100855. Online ahead of print.


Burkitt lymphoma (BL) is a malignant tumor in children. Although BL is generally curable, early relapse and refractoriness may occur. Some molecular indicators have been recently suggested for BL diagnosis, but large heterogeneity still exists. This study aimed at providing clinical molecular targets and methods that may help improve diagnosis and treatment of childhood BL. Only children patients were included in the study, and targeted gene sequencing was conducted to identify tumor specific

mutations. The mRNA and protein level expression of potential target genes were measured by real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry. The relationship between BL specific gene mutation and differential expression with clinical features was analyzed. The results showed that i) detailed analysis of c-MYC/BCL2/BCL6 gene loci alteration and gene expression would help in accurate diagnosis and treatment determination of childhood BL; ii) loss-of-function mutations in SOCS1 or CIITA gene might be used as malignant markers for BL diagnosis and prognosis; iii) specific mutations of CD79A, MYD88, KLF2, DNMT3A and NFKBIE genes often concurrently existed in BL and showed association with benign clinical outcomes; iv) the high expression of MYC, TCF3 and loss-of-function ID3 genes in tumor may be potential therapeutic targets and could be used for treatment monitoring; and v) four MYC-translocation negative cases were re-defined as high-grade B-cell lymphoma-not otherwise specified (HGBL-NOS) but showed similar clinical outcomes and molecular features to other BL cases in the study, suggesting more studies needed to explore the molecular mechanisms and clinical significance of this provisional tumor entity.