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Max Eder Junior Research Group - Characterization of prognostic and functional relevance of recurrent somatic gene alterations in follicular lymphoma

  • Project Leader: Prof. Dr. Oliver Weigert
  • Affiliation: Department of Medicine III
  • Funding: since 2013

Malignant lymphomas are the most common group of haematological tumors, accounting for more than 5% of all cancers.

Our research group "Biology of Malignant Lymphomas" focuses on the frequent follicular lymphoma (FL) and mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). Both entities usually manifest themselves in an advanced stage and are considered incurable.

Common to both lymphomas is the presence of characteristic translocations as a result of aberrant VDJ recombination during early B-cell maturation (see Fig.). Furthermore, in both lymphomas a multitude of further molecular alterations are detectable, which are necessary for the individual lymphoma development as well as for the heterogeneous biology and the different clinical processes.

As part of the German Low Grade Lymphoma Study Group (GLSG) and the European MCL Network, primary patient samples are available. High throughput methods and targeted approaches are used to identify recurrent lymphoma-specific molecular alterations. Correlation with the clinical database allows conclusions to be drawn about its clinical relevance. Candidate genes are functionally characterized in suitable in-vitro and in-vivo systems.

The overriding goal of our work is to further improve diagnostics and therapy for affected patients through a better understanding of the underlying molecular pathobiological processes. Due to the close connection to the clinical study groups mentioned above, our research results can be quickly translated into clinical concepts.

Source: LMU