People who inherit genetic changes alter the function of the immune system, are at increased risk of developing Hodgkin lymphoma. Scientists from the Institute of Cancer Research in London have identified six new genetic variations that increase the risk of developing Hodgkin's lymphoma, one of the most common types of cancer. The research is published in Nature Communications.
Many DNA changes affect the function of the immune system. The researchers stressed that such changes do not mean that people with autoimmune diseases are at increased risk of lymphoma, but provide conditions for a better understanding of lymphoma and autoimmune diseases.
One of the found genetic changes increase the risk of Hodgkin's lymphoma more than a third, and others - at least 15 percent. Scientists from the Institute of Cancer Research analyzed the genetic data in 5314 cases of Hodgkin's lymphoma. Most peoplewith Hodgkin's lymphoma successfully treated with first-line therapy, but there is a need for new methods of treatment.
Researchers have identified six new DNA changes that are associated with the development of Hodgkin's lymphoma. Five of them affect the way of education of white blood cells called B cells. Hodgkin - is a cancer of B-cells that are responsible for production of antibodies, an essential component of the immune system.
The study revealed clear differences in risk between the two genetic subtypes Hodgkin - nodular sclerosis, and mixed-cell form.
"Hodgkin's lymphoma - a cancer of immune cells, and our study links the risk of changes in the genes that control the development of B cells - explains Richard Houlston, professor of molecular and population genetics -. We have found that certain genetic changes have previously been associated with the risk of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis. This does not mean that if you develop autoimmune disease, there is an increased risk of lymphoma, but it does give genetic clues for these diseases. "
Understanding the genetic changes that underlie the development of cancer is crucial for combating and understanding of which patients are at greatest risk. "Thanks to the research of the treatment many people with Hodgkin's lymphoma will be better, and about 80 percent of patients will survive. Although this is good news, the treatment may have long-term health consequences, such as infertility and secondary cancers, so it is important to find a more lenient treatment of Hodgkin's lymphoma, "- said Dr. Alasdair Rankin.