WEEKLY UPDATE: January 10, 2020
STUDY TITLE: Genetic risk of extranodal natural killer T-cell lymphoma: a genome-wide association study in multiple populations
SUMMARY: Identification of 2 novel genetic variants associated with lymphoma found in the nose.
OVERVIEW: Extranodal natural killer T-cell lymphoma (NKTCL) is an aggressive blood cancer that grows outside of the lymphatic system, usually in the nose. While NKTCL is rare in European populations, it is common in individuals of Asian and South American ancestry. Infection with Epstein-Barr virus, has been previously linked to the development of NKTCL. Other evidence suggests that genetic variants within a gene responsible for immune system regulation also contribute to the development of NKTCL. Researchers that conducted this study sought to identify novel genetic variants associated with NKTCL. Using genomic data from ~ 8,500 individuals of Han Chinese ancestry, the researchers identified 2 novel genetic regions associated with increased risk of developing NKTCL. These genetic regions play a role in inflammation and immune system regulation. The results of the study were also replicated in cohorts from other parts of East Asia, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and South Korea.
DID YOU KNOW? Natural killer (NK) cells are a type of white blood cell that play an important role in the body’s innate immune response, specifically providing rapid responses to kill infected cells. Interestingly, unlike other cells that are part of the innate immune system, NK cells can remember old “enemies.”[SOURCE]