The Burkitt Lymphoma Genome Sequencing Project (BLGSP) is an ongoing multi-site, international, molecular characterization clinical study in patients with all sub types of BL. The project was initiated in 2010 by the National Cancer Institute Office of Cancer Genomics as a public-private partnership with the Foundation for Burkitt Lymphoma Research, coordinated by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. BLGSP will compile genetic changes present in BL tissues, analyze the data to identify diagnostic, prognostic or therapeutic markers or targets, and publish the results. Clinical data will also be collected so that associations between clinical parameters and genetic abnormalities can be discovered. The goal is to identify potential genetic changes in patients with BL that could lead to better prevention, detection and treatment of the cancer.
A brief summary/overview of the project can be found in the BLGSP Fact Sheet, and more specific details regarding the Aim and Significance of conducting the study; Study Population; Tissue Requirements; and Processes regarding Pathology Review and Verification, Sequencing, Analysis and Validation, Study Governance; and the Project Overview and Timeline can be found in the BLGSP Executive Summary. Important links to the study Case Report Forms, Informed Consent Template, and Publication Policy can also be found in this document. The complete BLGSP Study Protocol is also available.
Subtypes of BL patients who will be enrolled in the BLGSP
In this video Dr. Jean Paul Martin reviews the subtypes of BL patients who will be enrolled in the BLGSP, and defines the four Phases of the study. Dr. Marie-Reine Martin notes that the genome sequencing analysis will be performed on both normal tissue and tumor tissue in order to distinguish any gene alterations that occur in the tumor tissue.
The BLGSP is governed by a Steering Committee, and some of the members of this committee are also members of the Scientific Advisory Board, and the Foundations Executive Director. The members of the Steering Committee as well as the study Pathology Review Committee and current study Investigators are listed below; pictures, titles and bios for those individuals who have not been mentioned previously in other sections of the website are also included.
Learn more about the following:
What we know using older, high throughput molecular characterization of tumors.
Dr. Daniela Gerhard, Director Office of Cancer Genomics and principle architect of the BLGSP discusses what we know using older, high throughput molecular characterization of tumors. She also notes that cases for the BLGSP Study will be accrued form sites around the world in order to study all subtypes of BL. In addition to collecting normal and tumor tissue from participating patients, clinical data will also be collected to determine how the patients were treated, and what the outcomes of treatment were.
What we know about the molecular characterization of BL
Dr. Gerard Evan, Head Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, and member of the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board, discusses what we know about the molecular characterization of BL. He notes that in addition to the mutation of the oncogene MYC that occurs in BL, other mutations likely arise randomly from the altered MYC platform, and that different mutations exist for each of the BL subtypes. There is a need to take the BL tumor apart at the sequence level, the code that drives them, and find out where the mutations are.
Results of the BLGSP may help to distinguish the anatomic and pathological differences in patients with endemic versus sporadic BL
Dr. Corey Casper notes that results of the BLGSP may help to distinguish the anatomic and pathological differences in patients with endemic versus sporadic Burkitt Lymphoma. He also mentions the importance of comparing the clinical manifestations to the genome sequencing findings, and whether that may give insight as to why endemic BL is more aggressive than sporadic BL.
How Results of the BLGSP Could Be Useful for Other Lymphoma and Cancers:
Dr. Louis Staudt discusses how findings from the BLGSP may lead to opportunities to study specific targeted therapies that could lead to accelerated treatment possibilities for patients with other types of B cell lymphomas.
How could BLGSP be useful for other lymphoma and cancers?
Dr. Corey Casper emphasizes that studying BL will also offer the opportunity to explore different areas of cancer biology including immunosuppresion, role of viruses, and the impact of environmental factors.