Celiac.com 11/08/2012 - T-cell lymphoma is a deadly type of cancer that is more common in people with celiac disease than in the general population. Currently, there is no cure for T-cell lymphoma, and no promising treatment exists for people who suffer from this condition.

Photo: CC--National Eye InstituteHowever, that may be set to change, as the results of a new study suggest that new treatments for T-cell lymphoma my be on the horizon. The study appears in the journal Clinical Lymphoma Myeloma and Leukemia.

The study team included J.R. Bertino, M. Lubin, N. Johnson-Farley, W.C. Chan, L. Goodell, and S. Bhagavathi. They are affiliated with the Departments of Medicine, Pharmacology, and Pathology, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ.

The team was attempting to address the fact that doctors treating T-cell lymphomas, especially types of T-cell lymphoma known as peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL), angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL), and anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) have limited treatment options and cannot cure the condition.

Their study noted that a high percentage of PTCL, AITL, and ALCL, along with T-cell leukemia and T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia lack the enzyme methylthioadenosine phosphorylase (MTAP).

Their published results also note that MTAP-deficient cells cannot cleave endogenous methylthioadenosine to adenine and 5-methylthioribose-1-phosphate, a precursor of methionine, and as a result have enhanced sensitivity to inhibitors of de novo purine biosynthesis.

A recently introduced antifolate, pralatrexate, which has been shown to inhibit de novo purine biosynthesis, has been approved for treatment of PTCL and may have an increasing role in therapy. An alternative strategy involving coadministration of methylthioadenosine and high-dose 6-thioguanine has been proposed and may prove to be selectively toxic to MTAP-deficient uncommon lymphomas.

As a result of these MTAP results, the team suggests that new therapies and treatments for T-cell lymphoma may be possible going forward.

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