Key Points

  • NOTCH/PI3K-AKT signaling axis and cell cycle regulators are the key players that drive T-LBL

  • Mutations in KMT2D, an epigenetic modifier, are associated with poor prognosis in T-LBL

T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma (T-LBL) is a heterogeneous malignancy of lymphoblasts committed to T-cell lineage. Dismal outcomes (15-30%) in case of T-LBL relapses warrants for establishing risk-based treatment in future. This is a first comprehensive, systematic, integrated genome-wide analysis including relapse cases aimed towards identifying molecular markers of prognostic relevance for T-LBL. NOTCH1 was identified as putative driver for T-LBL. Activated NOTCH/PI3K-AKT signaling axis and alterations in cell cycle regulators constitutes the core oncogenic program for T-LBL. Mutated KMT2D was identified as a prognostic marker. The cumulative incidence of relapse was 47±17% in patients with KMT2D mutations compared with 14±3% in KMT2D wildtype. Structural analysis of the mutated domains of KMT2D revealed plausible impact on the structure and functional consequences. These findings provide new insights into the pathogenesis of T-LBL including high translational potential. The ongoing trial LBL 2018 (NCT04043494) allows prospective validation and subsequent fine-tuning of the stratification criteria for T-LBL risk groups to improve survival of the pediatric patients.

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