Researcher Looks for Link Between Protein and Hodgkin Lymphoma

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Maxwell Krem, MD, PhD


Project: KLHDC8B and Mouse Modeling of Hodgkin Lymphoma

Maxwell Krem
  • Maxwell Krem, MD, PhD
  • Acting Instructor, Division of Medical Oncology
  • University of Washington

Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphoid system, the organ system responsible for creating the white blood cells responsible for fighting infection and disease. Approximately 900 children under age 19 are diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma each year, the majority of whom are teenagers ages 15 – 19. Researchers believe that Hodgkin lymphoma is caused by a mutated cell called Reed-Sternberg (RS). This cell, for reasons not yet understood, recruits healthy cells to cluster around it, creating a tumor. Unlike other types of cancer, only about 1% of cells in the Hodgkin lymphoma tumor are actually cancerous.  A normal cell has one nucleus with 46 chromosomes inside of it. Unlike normal cells, RS cells have two or more nuclei. When two nuclei are present, there are often gained or lost chromosomes. As the result of these changes to the chromosome, a protein called KLHDC8B is no longer produced.

Maxwell Krem, MD, PhD, from The University of Washington is studying how the lack of KLHDC8B helps create abnormal cellular growth that may contribute to Hodgkin lymphoma. To conduct his research, Dr. Krem is studying mice that are bred without this protein and develop Hodgkin lymphoma. He aims to use this model to determine how the RS cell creates a tumor and if RS cells are able to reprogram non-cancer cells around it to become cancerous.

As of the conclusion of his CureSearch-funded project, Dr. Krem developed an important resource for the study of Hodgkin lymphoma:

  • 1 novel genetically engineered mouse model developed

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