BLyS, recently shown to be critical for survival of normal B cells, has been found to be elevated in a number of immune disease models. A role for BLyS in the survival of malignant B cells has also been revealed and we therefore sought to identify a role for BLyS and its receptors in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). We found that tumor cells from all NHL histologic subtypes expressed one or more of 3 known receptors (BCMA, TACI, and BAFF-R) for BLyS; however, the pattern of expression was variable. We provide evidence that BLyS is expressed in tumors from patients with NHL and that BLyS levels increase as tumors transform to a more aggressive phenotype. Additionally, we provide evidence that serum BLyS levels are elevated in a subgroup of patients with NHL. In patients with de novo large B-cell lymphoma, a high BLyS level correlated with a poorer median overall survival, the presence of constitutional symptoms, and elevated values of lactic dehydrogenase. When BLyS levels were correlated with response to therapy in all patients, responding patients had a significantly lower BLyS level than those with progressive disease. In summary, we found that BLyS and its receptors represent a potentially important therapeutic target in B-cell lymphoma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology