Genetics of Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma
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Mycosis fungoides (MF) is a common extranodal T-cell lymphoma primarily arising in the skin. In early disease stages, MF presents as skin patches and plaques that in some cases may progress to tumor and disperse to lymph nodes and other internal organs. The 10-year overall survival is 50% in advanced stages. Early diagnosis is difficult as the histology overlaps with features of inflammatory skin diseases. Even when the diagnosis is established, there are no prognostic markers that predict whether the disease will be aggressive or indolent. Lastly, there are no curative treatments and MF will invariably relapse, even after aggressive chemotherapy. The disease is a diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic challenge. The main objective of this study is to address the question of tumor heterogeneity in MF. To date, MF is considered to be monoclonal, derived from a transformed, mature memory T-cell. However, clinical observations and preliminary data suggest that MF comprises multiple subclones, which may be of importance for understanding disease evolution and resistance to therapy. We plan to address this objective using Whole Exome Sequencing (WES) of MF tissue prepared by laser microdissection (LMD).
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