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J Invest Dermatol. 2012 Jan;132(1):188-97. doi: 10.1038/jid.2011.254. Epub 2011 Sep 1.

Characterization of the DNA copy-number genome in the blood of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma patients.

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Department of Dermatology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.


Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) is a heterogeneous non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that may variably involve the skin, lymph nodes, and peripheral blood. Malignant burden ranges from cutaneous patches and plaques with little evidence of blood involvement to erythroderma often in association with frank leukemia, as in Sézary syndrome. Toward a better understanding of the pathogenesis of this CD4+ T-cell malignancy, we conducted a high-resolution genomic analysis combining DNA (23 samples) and mRNA (12 samples) data of peripheral blood isolates from CTCL patients across a spectrum of stages. Strikingly, even patients with limited involvement, e.g., normal CD4 counts, contained significant copy-number alterations. Defining genomic characteristics of CTCL blood involvement included gains on 8q and 17q, and deletions on 17p and chromosome 10. A consensus analysis of 108 leukemic CTCL samples demonstrated global similarities among patients with varied blood involvement, narrowing 38 of 62 loci. Toward an annotated framework for in vitro testing, we also characterized genomic alterations in five CTCL cell lines (HH, HUT78, PNO, SeAx, and Sez4), revealing intact core features of leukemic CTCL. Together, these studies produce the most comprehensive view of the leukemic CTCL genome to date, with implications for pathogenesis, molecular classification, and potential future therapeutic developments.

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