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Mullighan C.G.,St Jude Childrens Research Hospital
Blood | Year: 2013

Our understanding of the pathogenesis of lymphoid malignancies has been transformed by next-generation sequencing. The studies in this review have used whole-genome, exome, and transcriptome sequencing to identify recurring structural genetic alterations and sequence mutations that target key cellular pathways in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and the lymphomas. Although each tumor type is characterized by a unique genomic landscape, several cellular pathways are mutated in multiple tumor types-transcriptional regulation of differentiation, antigen receptor signaling, tyrosine kinase and Ras signaling, and epigenetic modifications-and individual genes are mutated in multiple tumors, notably TCF3, NOTCH1, MYD88, and BRAF. In addition to providing fundamental insights into tumorigenesis, these studies have also identified potential new markers for diagnosis, risk stratification, and therapeutic intervention. Several genetic alterations are intuitively "druggable" with existing agents, for example, kinase-activating lesions in high-risk B-cell ALL, NOTCH1 in both leukemia and lymphoma, and BRAF in hairy cell leukemia. Future sequencing efforts are required to comprehensively define the genetic basis of all lymphoid malignancies, examine the relative roles of germline and somatic variation, dissect the genetic basis of clonal heterogeneity, and chart a course for clinical sequencing and translation to improved therapeutic outcomes. Source

Nienhuis A.W.,St Jude Childrens Research Hospital
Blood | Year: 2013

This review addresses the current status of gene therapy for immunodeficiencies, chronic granulomatous disease, suicide gene therapy for graft-versus-host disease, viral infections, malignant hematologic disorders, hemophilia, and the hemoglobin disorders.New developmentsinvector design have fostered improved expression as well as enhanced safety, particularly of integrating retroviral vectors. Several immunodeficiencies have been treated successfully by stem cell-targeted, retroviralmediated gene transfer with reconstitution of the immune system following infusion of the transduced cells. In a trial for hemophilia B, long-term expression of human FIX has been observed following adeno-associated viral vector-mediated gene transfer into the liver. This approach should be successful in treating any disorder in which liver production of a specific protein is therapeutic. © 2013 by The American Society of Hematology. Source

Ware R.E.,St Jude Childrens Research Hospital
Blood | Year: 2010

Hydroxyurea has many characteristics of an ideal drug for sickle cell anemia (SCA) and provides therapeutic benefit through multiple mechanisms of action. Over the past 25 years, substantial experience has accumulated regarding its safety and efficacy for patients with SCA. Early proof-of principle studies were followed by prospective phase 1/2 trials demonstrating efficacy in affected adults, then adolescents and children, and more recently infants and toddlers. The phase 3 National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute-sponsored Multicenter Study of Hydroxyurea trial proved clinical efficacy for preventing acute vaso-occlusive events in severely affected adults. Based on this cumulative experience, hydroxyurea has emerged as an important therapeutic option for children and adolescents with recurrent vaso-occlusive events; recent evidence documents sustained long-term benefits with prevention or reversal of chronic organ damage. Despite abundant evidence for its efficacy, however, hydroxyurea has not yet translated into effective therapy for SCA. Because many healthcare providers have inadequate knowledge about hydroxyurea, patients and families are not offered treatment or decline because of unrealistic fears. Limited support for hydroxyurea by lay organizations and inconsistent medical delivery systems also contribute to underuse. Although questions remain regarding its long-term risks and benefits, current evidence suggests that many young patients with SCA should receive hydroxyurea treatment. © 2010 by The American Society of Hematology. Source

Kanneganti T.-D.,St Jude Childrens Research Hospital
Nature Reviews Immunology | Year: 2010

The immune response to viral infections is determined by a complex interplay between the pathogen and the host. Innate immune cells express a set of cytosolic sensors to detect viral infection. Recognition by these sensors induces the production of type I interferons and the assembly of inflammasome complexes that activate caspase-1, leading to production of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and IL-18. Here, I discuss recent progress in our understanding of the central roles of NOD-like receptors (NLRs) and inflammasomes in the immune response during viral infections. This information will improve our understanding of host defence mechanisms against viruses and provide new avenues for interfering in the pathogenesis of infectious diseases. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. Source

McKinnon P.J.,St Jude Childrens Research Hospital
Annual Review of Pathology: Mechanisms of Disease | Year: 2012

Ataxia telangiectasia (A-T) results from inactivation of the ATM protein kinase. DNA-damage signaling is a prime function of this kinase, although other roles have been ascribed to ATM. Identifying the primary ATM function(s) for tissue homeostasis is key to understanding how these functions contribute to the prevention of A-T-related pathology. In this regard, because A-T is primarily a neurodegenerative disease, it is essential to understand how ATM loss results in degenerative effects on the nervous system. In addition to delineating the biochemistry and cell biology of ATM, important insights into the molecular basis for neurodegeneration in A-T come from a spectrum of phenotypically related neurodegenerative diseases that directly result from DNA-repair deficiency. Together with A-T, these syndromes indicate that neurodegeneration can be caused by the failure to appropriately respond to DNA damage. This review focuses on defective DNA-damage signaling as the underlying cause of A-T. Copyright ©2012 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved. Source

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