New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

Read the latest cancer research and recognition from the members of the Damon Runyon scientific circle.
December 12, 2011
Novel genes linked to Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Catherine J. Wu, MD (Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator ‘07-‘12) and Matthew L. Meyerson, MD, PhD (Damon Runyon Fellow ‘95-‘98) of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, led the first large-scale genomics study of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). In tumor samples from 91 patients, they identified nine commonly mutated genes – five of which have been linked to CLL for the first time. One of these genes, SF3B1, is required for gene splicing (RNA processing), connecting the process to disease progression. The researchers found that mutation in SF3B1 may indicate a more aggressive form of the disease that requires prompt treatment. These findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented at the American Society of Hematology annual meeting.