Research Projects

Lymphoma research – Dr Tracey Wiggill

Lymphoma research – Dr Tracey Wiggill

Dr Tracey Wiggill

  • Somatic Cell Genetics Unit, Dept of Molecular Medicine and Haematology, University of the Witwatersrand and NHLS
  • E- mail

Project Title

Investigation of the cytogenetic and molecular features of B-Cell Lymphoma, unclassifiable, with features intermediate between Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma and Burkitt Lymphoma in the setting of Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection

Project description

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection is known to be strongly associated with an increased risk of high grade B-Cell Lymphoma (such as Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma and Burkitt Lymphoma). As South Africa has more than 5 million people living with HIV infection, this region sees a sharp increase in the diagnosis of high-grade lymphomas. HIV infection may associate with a number of atypical morphological features making it difficult to differentiate between several subtypes of lymphomas. As these differing diseases subtypes are treated with different treatment strategies, it is essential to accurately differentiate the type of disease in these HIV positive patients.

Using traditional cytogenetics and molecular genetic techniques we have identified chromosomal markers which occur at high frequency in particularly aggressive subtypes of lymphomas. We are now identifying genes and gene pathways non-randomly involved in these regions.

The identification of such genes will help the diagnosis of lymphoma at a early stage of the disease and in optimizing treatment strategies.

Non-scientific report

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection is known to be strongly associated with an increased risk of high grade B-Cell Lymphoma (such as Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma and Burkitt Lymphoma). As South Africa has more than 5 million people living with HIV infection, this region sees a sharp increase in the diagnosis of high-grade lymphomas. HIV infection may associate with a number of atypical morphological features making it difficult to differentiate between several subtypes of lymphomas. As these differing diseases subtypes are treated with different treatment strategies, it is essential to accurately differentiate the type of disease in these HIV positive patients.

Using traditional cytogenetics and molecular genetic techniques we have identified chromosomal markers which occur at high frequency in particularly aggressive subtypes of lymphomas. We are now identifying genes and gene pathways non-randomly involved in these regions.

The identification of such genes will help the diagnosis of lymphoma at a early stage of the disease and in optimizing treatment strategies.

Peer-reviewed Publications

T.M. Wiggill, H. Mantina, P. Willem, Y. Perner and W.S. Stevens, Changing Pattern of Lymphoma Subgroups at a Tertiary Academic Complex in a High-Prevalence HIV Setting: A South African Perspective, J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr  Volume 56, Number 5, April 15, 2011.

Pascale Willem MD, PhD, Tracey Wiggill MD, Kesenthri Kisthia, Yvonne Perner MD.  Frequent Chromosome 1q Aberrations in HIV associated B-Cell Lymphoma Unclassifiable with Intermediate Features Between Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma and Burkitt Lymphoma.  Department of Molecular Medicine and Hematology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. Department of Anatomical Pathology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Pascale Willem, Yvonne Perner, Tracey Wiggill. HIV associated double–hit B-cell lymphomas preferentially involve the MYC and BCL6 gene loci. EHA June 2013. Department of Haematology and Molecular Medicine National Health Laboratory Service, Johannesburg. Department of Anatomical Pathology, National Health Laboratory Service, Johannesburg

Wiggill, TM, Mayne, ES, and Willem, P. Challenges in lymphoma diagnosis in HIV positive patients in the South African setting.
Department of Molecular Medicine and Haematology, National Health Laboratory Service and University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Abstracts

P. Willem, T. Wiggill, K. Kisthia, Y. Perner, Frequent Chromosome 1q Aberrations in HIV associated B-Cell Lymphoma Unclassifiable with Intermediate Features Between Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma and Burkitt Lymphoma.


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