Latest Advances in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Large Granular Lymphocytic Leukemia

Abstract : Large granular lymphocyte (LGL) leukemia has been recognized in the World Health Organization classifications among mature T cell and natural killer cell neoplasms and is divided into three categories. Chronic T cell leukemia and natural killer cell lymphocytosis can be considered as a similar spectrum of an indolent disease characterized by cytopenias and autoimmune conditions. The last category, aggressive natural killer cell LGL leukemia is very rare, related to Epstein-Barr virus, and seen mainly in young Asian people. Clonal LGL expansion arises from chronic antigenic stimulation sustained by interleukin-15 and platelet-derived growth factor cytokine signal. Those leukemic cells are resistant to apoptosis, mainly because of constitutive activation of survival pathways including Jak/Stat, MapK, Pi3k-Akt, RasRaf-1, MEK1/ERK, sphingolipid, and NFκB. Stat3 constitutive activation is the hallmark of this lymphoproliferative disorder. Socs3 is downregulated, but no mutation could be found to explain this status. However, several somatic mutations, including Stat3, Stat5b, and tumor necrosis factor alpha-induced protein 3, have been demonstrated recently in LGL leukemia; they are identified in half of patients and cannot explain by themselves LGL leukemogenesis. Recurrent infections as a result of chronic neutropenia, anemia, and autoimmune disorders are the main complications related to LGL leukemia. Despite an indolent presentation, 10% of patients die, mainly because of infectious complications. Current treatments are based on immunosuppressive therapies. A better mechanistic understanding of LGL leukemia will allow future consideration of a personalized therapeutic approach perhaps based on Jak/Stat inhibitors, which may offer better results than current immunosuppressive therapy.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - 10:22:36 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 3:39:54 PM

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A. Moignet, T. Lamy. Latest Advances in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Large Granular Lymphocytic Leukemia. American Society of Clinical Oncology educational book. American Society of Clinical Oncology. Annual Meeting, 2018, pp.616-625. ⟨10.1200/EDBK_200689⟩. ⟨hal-01937441⟩

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