Department of Pathology

Professor Ming-Qing Du

Research description

Lymphomas are a group of highly heterogeneous tumors derived from B or T lymphocytes and occur at both nodal and extranodal sites. The accurate diagnosis of various lymphoma subtypes is critical in clinical management and this depends on integrated histological, immunophenotypic and molecular investigations. We have been undertaking a series of research programmes to elucidate the pathology, immunophenotype, and molecular genetics of several lymphoproliferative disorders, particularly mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma, splenic marginal zone lymphoma (SMZL), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), enteropathy associated T cell lymphoma (EATL), Kaposi sarcoma herpes virus (KSHV) associated lymphoproliferative disorders.

By array comparative genomic hybridisation (CGH), we have identified a number of genetic targets in these lymphomas. For example, we have identified A20, a “global” NF-kB inhibitor, as the target of 6q23 deletion in ocular adnexal MALT lymphomas, which do not carry the chromosome translocations seen in this lymphoma entity. Subsequent investigations show that A20 is also inactivated by somatic mutation and promoter methylation, and complete A20 inactivation is associated with poor clinical outcome in ocular adnexal MALT lymphoma. We are currently extending these observations to investigate comprehensively the genetics of translocation negative MALT lymphoma. We are also undertaking a series of research investigations aiming to characterise the genetics of SMZL and EATL, and validate potential biomarkers of potentially valuable in prognosis and treatment stratification of DLBCL.