Hope for patients of rare Peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL)


For those suffering from Peripheral T-cell Lymphoma (PTCL), the chances of survival are slim. KU Leuven, UZ Leuven and the VIB have achieved promising preliminary results to optimise the treatment of this rare but highly aggressive type of lymphoma.

Research into the DNA of PTCL patients revealed that two genes, MYCN and EZH2, work together to make these cancer cells grow and reproduce. Both appear to enhance the impact of the other. Although this discovery is not new for other genes in our body, it is for these two. Laboratory tests have now shown that when a certain molecule is used to deactivate EZH2 in human cancer cells, its cooperation with MYCN stops and the cancer cells die.

That new molecule is currently being tested in combination with an existing drug and initial results are very promising. It's too early to celebrate though. This breakthrough may lay the groundwork for new targeted therapies but the development path may take years.

The world of medicine is keeping its fingers crossed.