Ryan A. Wilcox, M.D., Ph.D.

T-cell cancers, collectively referred to as T-cell lymphomas (TCLs), are relatively rate, difficult to classify, and poorly understood.  Skin-associated TCLs, when clinically advanced, are often aggressive and resistant to standard chemotherapy regimens.  Therefore, these lymphomas are rarely curable with existing therapies.  We believe that the biology of normal (noncancerous) human T cells provides clues that may improve our understanding of TCL classification and treatment.  For example, normal T cells maybe classified into subsets that have distinct functions and are tightly controlled by a group of regulatory proteins.  One of those proteins, called GATA-3, regulates the growth and survival of a particular T-cell subset.  Therefore, we speculated that expression of GATA-3 and other proteins in TCL may determine important aspects of TCL biology and aid in TCL classification.  We found that approximately 60% of patients with the skin-associated TCLs express GATA-3.  These findings may have significant implications for the classification and treatment of TCL, as GATA-3 regulates the expression of genes that control the biology of these TCLs.  Therefore, we aim to identify the genes that are regulated by GATA-3 in these TCLs.  We anticipate that the knowledge gained from this work will aid in the development of novel therapeutic strategies that will improve outcomes for patients afflicted with these lymphomas.

Location: University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center - Michigan
Proposal: Role of the T-cell Transcription Factor GATA-3 in Cutaneous T-cell Lymphomas
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