Publications & Posters

Aggressive B-cell Lymphoma with MYC/TP53 Dual Alterations Displays Distinct Clinicopathobiological Features and Response to Novel Targeted Agents

Molecular Cancer Research | November 5, 2020

Deng M, Xu-Monette ZY, Pham LV, Wang X, Tzankov A, Fang X, Zhu F, Visco C, Bhagat G, Dybkaer K, Chiu A, Tam W, Zu Y, Hsi ED, You H, Huh J, Ponzoni M, Ferreri AJM, Møller MB, Parsons BM, Hagemeister F, van Krieken JH, Piris MA, Winter JN, Li Y, Xu B, Liu P and Young KH

Molecular cancer research : MCR. 2021;19:249-260

DOI: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-20-0466


Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the major type of aggressive B-cell lymphoma. High-grade B-cell lymphoma (HGBCL) with MYC/BCL2 double-hit (DH) represents a distinct entity with dismal prognosis after standard immunochemotherapy in the current WHO lymphoma classification. However, whether TP53 mutation synergizes with MYC abnormalities (MYC rearrangement and/or Myc protein overexpression) contributing to HGBCL-like biology and prognosis is not well investigated. In this study, patients with DLBCL with MYC/TP53 abnormalities demonstrated poor clinical outcome, high-grade morphology, and distinct gene expression signatures. To identify more effective therapies for this distinctive DLBCL subset, novel MYC/TP53/BCL-2–targeted agents were investigated in DLBCL cells with MYC/TP53 dual alterations or HGBCL-MYC/BCL2-DH. A BET inhibitor INCB057643 effectively inhibited cell viability and induced apoptosis in DLBCL/HGBCL cells regardless of MYC/BCL2/TP53 status. Combining INCB057643 with a MDM2-p53 inhibitor DS3032b significantly enhanced the cytotoxic effects in HGBCL-DH without TP53 mutation, while combining with the BCL-2 inhibitor venetoclax displayed potent therapeutic synergy in DLBCL/HGBCL cells with and without concurrent TP53 mutation. Reverse-phase protein arrays revealed the synergistic molecular actions by INCB057643, DS3032b and venetoclax to induce cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis and to inhibit AKT/MEK/ERK/mTOR pathways, as well as potential drug resistance mechanisms mediated by upregulation of Mcl-1 and RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK pathways. In summary, these findings support subclassification of DLBCL/HGBCL with dual MYC/TP53 alterations, which demonstrates distinct pathobiologic features and dismal survival with standard therapy, therefore requiring additional targeted therapies.

Implications: The clinical and pharmacologic studies suggest recognizing DLBCL with concomitant TP53 mutation and MYC abnormalities as a distinctive entity necessary for precision oncology practice.

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