Esteban Braggio, Ph.D., is primarily interested in studying the genetic basis of leukemias and lymphomas that affect B cells, a specific cell type found in the blood and bone marrow. B cells are an essential component of the adaptive immune system.
Many of the tumorigenic events that occur in leukemias and lymphomas disrupt the normal mechanisms that regulate B cell differentiation, proliferation and cell death. Understanding the genetic basis of the lymphomas and leukemias and the relationship between them and their normal B cell counterpart might be exploited to find novel therapeutic options for treating these cancers.
Dr. Braggio is pursuing three main research projects relevant to mature B-cell malignancies:
- Analysis of the clonal heterogeneity and its evolution in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia at disease progression and after relapse of therapy
- Study of the molecular pathogenesis and the clinical heterogeneity of primary central nervous system lymphomas (PCNSLs) of the diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) type and its differentiation from the nodal DLBCL
- Genetic analysis of Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia and related marginal zone lymphomas
Significance to patient care
Despite the improvement in treatment options, most B-cell leukemias and lymphomas are still incurable diseases.
Understanding the genetic basis of these malignancies, as well as the relationship between them and their normal B cell counterpart, is critical to identifying novel disease biomarkers, abnormalities with prognostic value and genetic targets that will ultimately accelerate considerations for therapeutic targeting.