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Sökning: WFRF:(Rosenquist Richard Rosenquist Professor)

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  • Ljungström, Viktor, 1986- (författare)
  • Exploring next-generation sequencing in chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • 2016
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • <p>Next-generation sequencing (NGS) techniques have led to major breakthroughs in the characterization of the chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) genome with discovery of recurrent mutations of potential prognostic and/or predictive relevance. However, before NGS can be introduced into clinical practice, the precision of the techniques needs to be studied in better detail. Furthermore, much remains unknown about the genetic mechanisms leading to aggressive disease and resistance to treatment. Hence, in <strong>Paper I</strong>, the technical performance of a targeted deep sequencing panel including 9 genes was evaluated in 188 CLL patients. We were able to validate 143/155 (92%) selected mutations through Sanger sequencing and 77/82 mutations were concordant in a second targeted sequencing run, indicating that the technique can be introduced in clinical practice. In <strong>Paper II</strong> we screened 18 NF-κB pathway genes in 315 CLL patients through targeted deep sequencing which revealed a recurrent 4 base-pair deletion in the <em>NFKBIE</em> gene. Screening of <em>NFKBIE</em> in 377 additional cases identified the mutation in ~6% of all CLL patients. We demonstrate that the lesion lead to aberrant NF-κB signaling through impaired interaction with p65 and is associated with unfavorable clinical outcome. In <strong>Paper III</strong> we sought to delineate the genetic lesions that leads to relapse after fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and rituximab treatment. Through whole-exome sequencing of pre-treatment and relapse samples from 41 cases we found evidence of frequent selection of subclones harboring driver mutations and subsequent clonal evolution following treatment. We also detected mutations in the ribosomal protein <em>RPS15</em> in 8 cases (19.5%) and characterization of the mutations through functional assays point to impaired p53 regulation in cells with mutated <em>RPS15</em>. <strong>Paper IV</strong> aimed at characterizing 70 patients assigned to three major subsets (#1, #2, and #4) through whole-genome sequencing. Besides recurrent exonic driver mutations, we report non-coding regions significantly enriched for mutations in subset #1 and #2 that may facilitate future molecular studies. Collectively, this thesis supports the potential of targeted sequencing for mutational screening of CLL in clinical practice, provides novel insight into the pathobiology of aggressive CLL, and demonstrates the clinical outcome and cellular effects of <em>NFKBIE</em> and <em>RPS15</em> mutations. </p>
  • Bin Kaderi, Mohamed Arifin, 1978- (författare)
  • Assessment of Novel Molecular Prognostic Markers in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
  • 2010
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • <p>The clinical course of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is highly heterogeneous, which has prompted<sup> </sup>the search for biomarkers that can predict prognosis in this disease. The IGHV gene mutation status and certain genomic aberrations have been identified as reliable prognostic markers of clinical outcome for this disorder. However, the search for more feasible prognostic markers in CLL is still being pursued. Recently, certain single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the <em>GNAS1</em>, <em>BCL2</em> and <em>MDM2</em> genes and the RNA expression levels of the <em>LPL</em>, <em>ZAP70</em>, <em>TCL1, CLLU1 </em>and <em>MCL1</em> genes were suggested as novel prognostic markers in CLL.</p> <p>In papers I-III, we performed genotyping analyses of the <em>GNAS1</em> T393C, <em>BCL2</em> -938C&gt;A and <em>MDM2</em> SNP309 polymorphisms in 268-418 CLL patients and related the genotypes with clinical data. Association studies between the polymorphisms and established prognostic markers (i.e. IGHV mutation status, genomic aberrations, CD38 expression) were also performed. Our studies did not find any significant relationship between these SNPs with either clinical outcome or other known prognostic markers in CLL.</p> <p>In paper IV, we measured the RNA expression levels of <em>LPL</em>, <em>ZAP70</em>, <em>TCL1,</em> <em>CLLU1</em> and <em>MCL1</em> in 252 CLL cases and correlated these levels with clinical outcome. Here, we verified that high expression of all these RNA-based markers, except <em>MCL1</em>, were associated with an unfavourable prognosis. We also confirmed a close relationship between IGHV mutation status and the RNA-based markers, especially for <em>LPL</em> and <em>CLLU1</em> expression. Among the RNA-based markers, multivariate analysis revealed <em>LPL</em> expression as the strongest independent prognostic marker for overall survival and time to treatment. Furthermore, the RNA-based markers could add further prognostic information to established markers in subgroups of patients, with <em>LPL</em> expression status giving the most significant results.</p> <p>In summary, data from papers I-III could not verify the <em>GNAS1</em> T393C, <em>BCL2</em> -938C&gt;A and <em>MDM2 </em>SNP309 polymorphisms as prognostic markers in CLL. Future SNP markers must hence be confirmed in large, independent cohorts before being proposed as prognostic marker in CLL. In paper IV, we conclude that <em>LPL</em> expression appears to be the strongest among the RNA-based markers for CLL prognostication. Further efforts to standardize <em>LPL</em> quantification are required before it can be applied in the clinical laboratory to predict clinical outcome in this disease.<em></em></p>
  • Cahill, Nicola, 1983- (författare)
  • Molecular Genetic and DNA Methylation Profiling of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia <em>A Focus on Divergent Prognostic Subgroups and Subsets</em>
  • 2012
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • <p>Advancements in prognostication have improved the subdivision of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) into diverse prognostic subgroups. In CLL, IGHV unmutated and IGHV3-21 genes are associated with a poor-prognosis, conversely, IGHV mutated genes with a favourable outcome. The finding of multiple CLL subsets expressing ‘stereotyped’ B-cell receptors (BCRs) has suggested a role for antigen(s) in leukemogenesis. Patients belonging to certain stereotyped subsets share clinical and biological characteristics, yet limited knowledge exists regarding the genetic and epigenetic events that may influence their clinical behaviour. This thesis aimed to, further investigate Swedish IGHV3-21-utilising patients, screen for genetic and DNA-methylation events in CLL subgroups/subsets and study DNA methylation over time and within different CLL compartments.</p> <p>In paper I, IGHV gene sequencing of 337 CLL patients from a Swedish population-based cohort revealed a lower (6.5%) IGHV3-21 frequency relative to previous Swedish hospital-based studies (10.1-12.7%). Interestingly, this frequency remained higher compared to other Western CLL (2.6-4.1%) hospital-based cohorts. Furthermore, we confirmed the poor-outcome for IGHV3-21 patients to be independent of mutational and stereotypy status.</p> <p>In paper II, genomic events in stereotyped IGHV3-21-subset #2, IGHV4-34-subset #4 and subset #16 and their non-stereotyped counterparts were investigated via SNP arrays (n=101). Subset #2 and non-subset #2 carried a higher frequency of events compared to subset #4. A high frequency of del(11q) was evident in IGHV3-21 patients particularly subset #2 cases, which may partially explain their poor-prognosis. In contrast, the lower prevalence of aberrations and absence of poor-prognostic alterations may reflect the inherent low-proliferative disease seen in subset #4 cases.</p> <p>In papers III and IV, differential methylation profiles in IGHV mutated and IGHV unmutated patients were identified using DNA-methylation microarrays. CLL prognostic genes (<em>CLLU1, LPL</em>), tumor-suppressor genes (TSGs) (<em>ABI3</em>, <em>WISP3</em>) and genes belonging to TGF-ß and NF-kB/TNFR1 pathways were differentially methylated between the subgroups. Additionally, the re-expression of methylated TSGs by use of methyl and deacetyl inhibitors was demonstrated. Interestingly, analysis of patient-paired diagnostic/follow-up samples and patient-matched lymph node (LN) and peripheral blood (PB) cases revealed global DNA methylation to be relatively stable over time and remarkably similar within the different compartments.</p> <p>Altogether, this thesis provides insight into the aberrant genomic and DNA methylation events in divergent CLL subgroups. Moreover this thesis helps distinguish the extent to which DNA methylation changes with respect to time and microenvironment in CLL.</p>
  • Hayat Roshanai, Afsaneh (författare)
  • Psychological and Behavioral Aspects of Receiving Genetic Counseling for Hereditary Cancer
  • 2010
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • <p>The overall aims of this thesis were to investigate psychological and behavioral effects of receiving cancer genetic counseling for breast, ovarian and colorectal cancer and/or with a family history of these cancer types and to determine whether counselees’ informational needs were met.</p> <p><strong>Study I</strong> was performed 3-7 years post-counseling. Participants (n=214) reported a relatively high level of anxiety but a low level of depression compared to cancer patients in general. However, there was no indication that the distress experienced was due to the counseling. Moderate changes in life and family relations, high level of adherence to recommended controls and satisfaction was reported. <strong>Study II </strong>was a randomized control trial (RCT) intervention study which involved 147 counselees. An increase in the level of knowledge and correct estimation of personal risk was reported in both the intervention and control groups, although this increase declined at later follow-up. Enhanced information led to significantly greater satisfaction with the given information, and the way of informing relatives. Most counselees had shared information with their at-risk relatives. <strong>Study III</strong> focused on sharing information with at-risk relatives among participants in study II and their relatives (n=81). Counselees were interviewed and answered a questionnaire, whilst their relatives only answered the questionnaire. Counselees reported positive/neutral feelings about communicating genetic information and mostly interpreted their relatives’ reactions as positive/ neutral. Also, approximately 50% of relatives reported positive/neutral reactions and were generally satisfied with the received information. <strong>Study IV </strong>was conducted in Sweden and Norway based on 235 counselees. Counselees expected counselors to be skillful and thoughtful, take them seriously and provide risk estimations and medical information. Most important issues to counselees were satisfactorily addressed by the counselors. Analyzing importance rankings resulted in five categories of needs: a need for facts, caring communication and medical information, need for understanding and support in sharing genetic information, practical care and medical/practical information.</p> <p>In conclusion, no adverse psychological or behavioral effect on counselees was observed. Apparently, genetic counseling is managed properly and counselors successfully address counselees’ needs. Providing extended information does not seem necessary, however, tailoring information to individual counselees needs may create a more effective counseling.</p>
  • Murray, Fiona, 1980- (författare)
  • Stereotyped B Cell Receptors in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia Implications for Antigen Selection in Leukemogenesis
  • 2008
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • <p>Biased immunoglobulin heavy variable (IGHV) gene usage and distinctive B-cell receptor (BCR) features have been reported in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), which may reflect clonal selection by antigens during disease development. Furthermore, the IGHV gene mutation status distinguishes two clinical entities of CLL, where patients with unmutated IGHV genes have an inferior prognosis compared to those with mutated IGHV genes. Recently, one subgroup of CLL patients expressing the IGHV3-21 gene was found to display highly similar immunoglobulin (IG) gene features, even within the heavy chain complementarity-determining region 3 (HCDR3). Patients in this subgroup typically had a poor prognosis.</p><p>In paper I, we aimed to identify further subgroups with restricted BCR features among 346 CLL cases. Six subsets were defined which carried virtually identical BCRs in terms of rearranged heavy and light chain (LC) IG genes and CDR3 length and composition. In paper II, we investigated 90 IGHV3-21 cases from diverse geographical locations. We confirmed the highly restricted HCDR3 characteristics in 56% of patients and a biased usage of the IGLV3-21 gene in 72% of cases. Survival analysis also confirmed the poor outcome of this group, irrespective of IGHV gene mutation status and geographical origin.</p><p>Papers III and IV involved a large-scale analysis of IGH and IG kappa and lambda (IGK/L) gene rearrangements, to define subsets with ‘stereotyped’ BCRs and also to systematically examine the somatic hypermutation (SHM) features of the IG genes in CLL. We studied a cohort of 1967 IGH and 891 IGK/L gene sequences from 1939 patients from 6 European institutions. Over 5300 IGH and ~4700 IGK/L sequences from non-CLL B cells were used as a control data set. In total, 110 CLL stereotyped subsets were defined according to HCDR3 homology. Striking IGK/L gene biases were also evident within subsets, along with distinctive K/LCDR3 features, such as length and amino acid composition. At cohort level, the patterns of mutation appeared to be consistent with that of a canonical SHM mechanism. However, at a subgroup level, certain stereotyped subsets, e.g. IGHV3-21/IGLV3-21 and IGHV4-34/IGKV2-30 CLL, deviated from this pattern. Furthermore, recurrent ‘stereotyped’ mutations occurred in cases belonging to subsets with restricted HCDR3s, in both IGHV and IGK/LV genes, which were subset- and CLL-biased when compared to non-CLL B cells.</p><p>In conclusion, our findings implicate antigen selection as a significant factor in the pathogenesis of CLL, particularly in cases carrying stereotyped BCRs. The presence of stereotyped mutations throughout the VH and VL domain also indicates involvement of IG regions other than the CDR3 in antigen recognition. Finally, biased IGK/L gene usage and specific K/LCDR3 features are strong indications that LCs are crucial in shaping the specificity of leukemic BCRs, in association with defined heavy chains.</p>
  • Thörn, Ingrid, 1957- (författare)
  • Minimal Residual Disease Assessment in Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
  • 2009
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • <p>Traditionally, response to treatment in hematological malignancies is evaluated by light microscopy of bone marrow (BM) smears, but due to more effective therapies more sensitive methods are needed. Today, detection of minimal residual disease (MRD) using immunological and molecular techniques can be 100 times more sensitive than morphology. The main aim of this thesis was to compare and evaluate three currently available MRD methods in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL): (i) real-time quantitative PCR (RQ-PCR) of rearranged antigen receptor genes, (ii) multicolor flow cytometry (FCM) of leukemia-associated immunophenotypes and (iii) real-time quantitative PCR of fusion gene transcripts (RT-PCR).</p> <p>In paper I,<strong> </strong>we assessed the applicability of RQ-PCR in a population-based cohort of childhood ALL diagnosed in Sweden between 2002-2006. Clonal IG/TCR rearrangements were identified in the 96% of the 279 ALL cases. Using RQ-PCR, the quantitative range of 10<sup>-3 </sup>was reached in 93% of B-cell precursor (BCP) ALL and 86% of T-cell ALL (T-ALL) by at least one target gene. In paper II<strong>,</strong> we compared MRD detection using both RQ-PCR and FCM in the context of NOPHO ALL-2000 protocol. By applying the stratification threshold of ≥0.1% MRD late during induction therapy (day 29), we could demonstrate that both methods can predict the risk of BM relapse but not extramedullary relapse. However, the threshold of ≥0.2% MRD appears to be more optimal using RQ-PCR in BCP ALL, whilst in T-ALL, the results indicate that RQ-PCR is preferable for MRD assessment.</p> <p>The stability of RNA <em>in vitro</em> is a critical factor when using sensitive molecular techniques such as MRD detection. In paper III, we evaluated the influence on MRD detection when blood is collected in tubes with RNA stabilization reagents (PAX gene Vacutatiner®) compared to collection in EDTA-tubes (non-stabilized). We analyzed 68 matched samples from chronic myeloid leukemia patients and the results indicated that non-stabilized blood processed within 30 hours is preferable for MRD detection.</p> <p>In paper IV, follow-up samples from eight children with Philadelphia positive (Ph+) ALL were evaluated with the three available MRD methods. MRD measured by the fusion gene transcripts (<em>BCR-ABL1) </em>appeared to be the most sensitive method, however, precise quantification can be difficult and the other methods are thus complementary.</p> <p>In conclusion, all three applied MRD methods are useful and correlate to each other, although not necessary exchangeable in individual patients. We also conclude that MRD assessment by RQ-PCR, based on rearranged IG/TCR genes and multicolor FCM are predictive for identification of high risk childhood ALL patients.</p>
  • Young, Emma, 1990- (författare)
  • Recurrent Genetic Mutations in Lymphoid Malignancies
  • 2017
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • <p>In recent years, the genetic landscape of B-cell derived lymphoid malignancies, including chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), has been rapidly unraveled, identifying recurrent genetic mutations with potential clinical impact. Interestingly, ~30% of all CLL patients can be assigned to more homogeneous subsets based on the expression of a similar or “stereotyped” B-cell receptor (BcR). Considering that biased distribution of genetic mutations was recently indicated in specific stereotyped subsets, in <strong>paper I</strong>, we screened 565 subset cases, preferentially assigned to clinically aggressive subsets, and confirm the <em>SF3B1</em> mutational bias in subset #2 (45%), but also report on similarly marked enrichment in subset #3 (46%). In contrast, <em>NOTCH1</em> mutations were predominantly detected in subsets #1, #8, #59 and #99 (22-34%). This data further highlights a subset-biased acquisition of genetic mutations in the pathogenesis of at least certain subsets. Aberrant NF-κB signaling due to a deletion within the <em>NFKBIE</em> gene previously reported in CLL warranted extended investigation in other lymphoid malignancies. Therefore, in <strong>paper II</strong>, we screened 1460 patients with various lymphoid malignancies for <em>NFKBIE</em> deletions and reported enrichment in classical Hodgkin lymphoma (27%) and primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma (PMBL) (23%). <em>NFKBIE</em>-deleted PMBL cases had higher rates of chemorefractoriness and inferior overall survival (OS). <em>NFKBIE-</em>deletion status remained an independent prognostic marker in multivariate analysis. <em>EGR2 </em>mutations were recently reported in advanced stage CLL patients; thus, in <strong>paper III</strong> we screened 2403 CLL patients for mutations in <em>EGR2</em>. An overall mutational frequency of 3.8% was reported and <em>EGR2</em> mutations were associated with younger age, advanced stage and del(11q)<em>. EGR2</em> mutational status remained an independent marker of poor outcome in multivariate analysis, both in the screening and validation cohorts. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) of 70 CLL cases, assigned to poor-prognostic subsets #1 and #2 and indolent subset #4, were investigated in <strong>Paper IV</strong> and revealed a similar skewing of <em>SF3B1</em> mutations in subset #2 and <em>NOTCH1</em> mutations in subset #1 to that reported in Paper I.<strong> </strong>Additionally, an increased frequency of the recently proposed CLL driver gene <em>RPS15</em> was observed in subset #1. Finally, novel non-coding mutational biases were detected in both subset #1 and #2 that warrant further investigation.</p>
  • Baliakas, Panagiotis, 1977- (författare)
  • Reappraising prognosis in chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • 2016
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • <p>Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) exhibits remarkable clinical heterogeneity likely reflecting the underlying biological heterogeneity. The genetic landscape of CLL has been recently enriched with mutations within a number of genes proposed as novel prognostic markers. Mounting evidence also supports the pivotal role of the clonotypic B-cell receptor immunoglobulin (BcR IG) in the natural history of CLL. Interestingly, almost 30% of all CLL patients can be assigned to different patient subsets, each defined by expression of a distinct stereotyped BcR IG. Whether stereotyped subsets exhibit distinct clinical behavior is still an issue of debate. The aim of this thesis was to evaluate the prognostic relevance of recurrent gene mutations and to assess the clinicobiological associations and clinical impact of BcR IG stereotypy in CLL. In a cohort of 3490 patients, <em>NOTCH1, SF3B1 </em>and <em>TP53</em> mutations were enriched within clinically aggressive cases carrying unmutated IGHV genes (U-CLL), frequently co-occurring with trisomy 12, del(11q) and del(17p), respectively. Of note, <em>SF3B1</em> mutations increased in parallel with increasing timespan between diagnosis and mutational screening. <em>NOTCH1</em> mutations, <em>SF3B1</em> mutations and <em>TP53 </em>abnormalities (<em>TP53abs</em>, deletions and/or mutations) correlated with shorter time-to-first-treatment among early stage cases, while in multivariate analysis, only <em>SF3B1</em> mutations and <em>TP53abs</em> retained independent significance. In a series of 8593 CLL patients, stereotyped subsets showed marked differences in demographics, clinical presentation, cytogenetic aberrations and gene mutational spectrum. Patients within a specific subset generally followed similar clinical courses, whereas patients in different stereotyped subsets—even when displaying similar IG somatic hypermutation status— experienced significantly different clinical outcome. In particular, subset #2 (IGHV3-21/IGLV3-21), the largest overall, was found to exhibit (i) a remarkably high incidence of <em>SF3B1 </em>mutations (44%), alluding to subset-biased acquisition of genomic aberrations, in the context of particular antigenic stimulation; and, (ii) a dismal clinical outcome, distinct from the remaining IGHV3-21 CLL. Our findings strongly support the adverse clinical impact of <em>SF3B1</em> mutations in CLL in addition to <em>TP53abs</em>. BcR IG stereotypy also emerges as prognostically relevant, further highlighting that an immunogenetic sub-classification of CLL based on BcR IG configuration could refine patient risk stratification. </p>
  • Bergh, Ann-Charlotte, 1980- (författare)
  • Importance of microenvironment and antigen in the regulation of growth and survival of CLL cells
  • 2016
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • <p>Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells rapidly die when put in culture implying that microenvironmental signals delivered by accessory cells confer CLL cells with a growth advantage. Recent findings show that CLL cells are antigen experienced and antigen binding play a critical role in the pathogenesis of the disease. The overall aim of this thesis was to study the influence of the microenvironment and antigen binding in CLL.</p><p>In paper I, we studied the influence of the small redox-regulatory molecule thioredoxin (Trx) on CLL cell survival and proliferation. We found Trx to be highly expressed in CLL lymph nodes (LNs), secreted from stromal cells surrounding proliferating CLL cells in proliferation centers, indicating growth promoting properties. Secreted Trx was also shown to protect CLL cells from apoptosis.</p><p>In paper II, oxidized LDL was added to subset #1 CLL cells. However, in contrast to our hypothesis, we could not observe activation and proliferation of CLL cells. Instead subset #1 CLL cells were unresponsive/anergic through the B cell receptor (BcR). This anergic state could however be overcome by “wash out” of bound antigen or addition of toll-like receptor 9 stimulation in some patients.</p><p>Gene expression profiles differ between groups of CLL patients and in peripheral blood (PB) and LN compartment, due to different microenvironments. However, it is not known whether these differences also apply for DNA methylation. In paper III, we identified various genes that were alternatively methylated between IGHV mutated (M) and unmutated (UM) groups. For example prognostic genes, CLLU1 and LPL, genes involved in B cell signaling, IBTK, as well as numerous TGF-β and NF-κB/TNF pathway genes.</p><p>The intensity and duration of BcR signals are fine-tuned by enhancing or inhibitory coreceptors. SHP-1 inhibits BcR-signals by dephosphorylation. In paper IV, we compared the expression and activity of SHP-1 in CLL cells from LN with matched PB samples. However, in contrast to our hypothesis, SHP-1 activity/phosphorylation status in PB and LN, did not differ significantly.</p><p>This thesis, add another piece to the puzzle, on how the microenvironment and antigens influence CLL pathogenesis. Since great variations among individuals are seen, further studies in different groups of patients are necessary to elucidate the importance of antigen for the development of CLL.</p>
  • Bhoi, Sujata (författare)
  • Prognostic markers and DNA methylation profiling in lymphoid malignancies
  • 2017
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • <p>In recent years, great progress has been achieved towards identifying novel biomarkers in lymphoid malignancies, including chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), at the genomic, transcriptomic and epigenomic level for accurate risk-stratification and prediction of treatment response. In <strong>paper I</strong>, we validated the prognostic relevance of a recently proposed RNA-based marker in CLL, <em>UGT2B17</em>, and analyzed its expression levels in 253 early-stage patients. Besides confirming its prognostic impact in multivariate analysis, we could identify 30% of IGHV-mutated CLL (M-CLL) cases with high expression and poor outcome, which otherwise lacked any other poor-prognostic marker. In <strong>paper II</strong>, we investigated the prognostic impact of a previously reported 5 CpG signature that divides CLL patients into three clinico-biological subgroups, namely naive B-cell-like CLL (n-CLL), memory B-cell-like CLL (m-CLL) and intermediate CLL (i-CLL), in 135 CLL patients using pyrosequencing. We validated the signature as an independent marker in multivariate analysis and further reported that subset #2 cases were predominantly classified as i-CLL, although displaying a similar outcome as n-CLL. In <strong>paper III</strong>, we investigated the methylation status and expression level of miR26A1 in both CLL (n=70) and MCL (n=65) cohorts. High miR26A1 methylation was associated with IGHV-unmutated (U-CLL) and shorter overall survival (OS) in CLL, while it was uniformly hypermethylated in MCL. Furthermore, overexpression of miR26A1 resulted in significant downregulation of EZH2 that in turn led to increased apoptosis. In <strong>paper IV</strong>, we performed DNA methylation profiling in 176 CLL cases assigned to one of 8 major stereotyped subsets (#1-8) in relation to non-subset CLL (n=325) and different normal B-cell subpopulations. Principal component analysis of subset vs. non-subset CLL revealed that U-CLL and M-CLL subsets generally clustered with n-CLL and m-CLL, respectively, indicating common cellular origins. In contrast, subset #2 emerged as the first defined member of the i-CLL subgroup, which in turn alludes to a distinct cellular origin for subset #2 and i-CLL patients. Altogether, this thesis confirms the prognostic significance of RNA and epigenetic-based markers in CLL, provides insight into the mechanism of miRNA deregulation in lymphoid malignancies and further unravels the DNA methylation landscape in stereotyped subsets of CLL.</p><p> </p><p></p>
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