Despite concentrating on a rare type of cancer called blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN), the study may provide insight into how other malignancies, particularly those involving blood or lymph cells that circulate throughout the body via the bloodstream, originate.
New research by scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard unveils the unique evolution of a rare cancer that evolves in different tissues, offering new perspectives on cancer development and metastasis.
- The study sheds light on the evolution of the rare cancer BPDCN, which develops in multiple tissues.
- Researchers found that exposure to different environments triggers the evolution of premalignant cells to tumor cells.
- BPDCN, typically diagnosed in older men, exhibits anomalies among leukemias.
- In BPDCN, tumors often appear in the skin even when no abnormal cells are found in bone marrow or blood.
- Researchers discovered that BPDCN likely starts in bone marrow as clonal hematopoiesis (CH), then progresses to skin leukemia with added mutations.
- A new technological approach called eXpressed Variant sequencing (XV-seq) helped track the progression of BPDCN.
- UV radiation was found to cause additional mutations in BPDCN, turning mutated blood cells into leukemia cells.
- The research showed that skin lesions almost always formed in sun-exposed areas, suggesting a role of UV exposure in disease progression.
- The most common mutation in BPDCN, Tet2, was found to aid the survival of BPDCN cells under UV radiation, enabling further mutation.
- The research provides valuable insight into the progression of BPDCN and potentially other cancers that evolve in multiple sites or metastasize, with UV radiation exposure identified as a crucial factor in the disease’s development.
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