A new study has suggested interferon regulatory factor 4 as a potential therapeutic target in peripheral T-cell lymphomas.
Peripheral T-cell lymphomas (PTCLs) are aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHLs) characterized by frequent relapse and poor survival outcomes. Interferon regulatory factor 4 (IRF4), also known as multiple myeloma oncogene-1 (MUM1), has been suggested as a potential therapeutic target in PTCL due to its expression in T-cell lymphoma. Although IRF4/MUM1 expression is associated with aggressiveness of B-cell lymphoma and multiple myeloma, the prognostic value of IRF4/MUM1 expression in PTCL is unclear.
A study led by Dr. Seok Jin Kim at the Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine in South Korea analyzed a tissue array from 69 patients diagnosed with PTCL. The expression levels of IRF4/MUM1 and associated proteins such as MYC and Ikaros were analyzed by immunohistochemistry. Researchers found that IRF4/MUM1 expression was observed in 33% of all patients, most frequently in patients with anaplastic large cell lymphoma. Patients with PTCL, not otherwise specified and angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma showed expression rates of 33% and 50%, respectively, whereas only 3 patients with extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma showed positive staining. The percentage of IRF4-positive tumour cells was significantly associated with the percentage of MYC-positive tumour cells. Moreover, comparison of survival outcomes revealed that the IRF4/MUM1-positive group exhibited worse survival than the IRF4/MUM1-negative group.
The data from this study suggests that IRF4/MUM1 expression was associated with poor survival outcomes in PTCL, implying that this gene is a potential therapeutic target. However, the study has some limitations including a small sample. Further studies with larger study populations should be performed to confirm the prognostic value of IRF4 in PTCL.