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Turkish Journal of Biology

DOI

10.3906/biy-1908-23

Abstract

Neoplastic transformation of germinal center B (GCB) cells may give rise to a variety of different B cell lymphoma subtypes, most of which show substantial heterogeneity in terms of genetic alterations and clinical features. The mutations observed in cancer-related genes in GCB cells are related to abnormalities in the immunogenetic mechanisms associated with germinal center reaction. Recent studies have rapidly identified genomic alterations in B cell lymphomas that may be useful for better subclassification, noninvasive diagnosis, and prediction of response to therapy. The WHO recognizes different lymphoma subsets classified within 2 major categories of B cell lymphoma: Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) and B cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), each with distinct genetic aberrations, including chromosomal translocations, copy number abnormalities, or point mutations. Next-generation sequencing-based technologies have allowed cancer researchers to identify somatic mutations and gene expression signatures at a rapid pace so that novel diagnostic or prognostic biomarkers, as well as therapeutic targets, can be discovered much faster than before. Indeed, deep sequencing studies have recently revealed that lymphoma-specific somatic mutations may be detected in cell-free circulating DNA obtained from the peripheral blood of B cell lymphoma patients, suggesting the possibility of minimally invasive diagnosis, monitoring, and predicting response to therapy of B cell lymphoma patients. In this study, the current status of the recurrent genetic aberrations observed during diagnosis and/ or relapse in HL and the major subtypes of B cell NHL (i.e. diffuse large B cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, mantle cell lymphoma, and Burkitt lymphoma) are discussed to shed light on their potential use as noninvasive diagnostic or prognostic biomarkers and to reveal their role in lymphomagenesis as a target in therapy for newly diagnosed and chemotherapy-resistant cases.

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