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Front. Oncol. | doi: 10.3389/fonc.2018.00636

Targeting the Bcl-2 family in B cell lymphoma

  • 1Thomas Jefferson University, United States

Although lymphoma is a very heterogeneous group of biologically complex malignancies, tumor cells across all B cell lymphoma subtypes share a set of underlying traits that promote the development and sustain malignant B cells. One of these traits, the ability to evade apoptosis, is essential for lymphoma development. Alterations in the Bcl-2 family of proteins, the key regulators of apoptosis, is a hallmark of B cell lymphoma. Significant efforts have been made over the last 30 years to advance knowledge of the biology, molecular mechanisms, and therapeutic potential of targeting Bcl-2 family members. In this review, we will highlight the complexities of the Bcl-2 family, including our recent discovery of overexpression of the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family member Bcl-w in lymphomas, and describe recent advances in the field that include the development of inhibitors of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members for the treatment of B cell lymphomas and their performance in clinical trials.

Keywords: Bcl-2, Bcl-w, B cell lymphoma, Apoptosis, Ventoclax, Navitoclax, BH-3 mimetics, CLL

Received: 10 Sep 2018; Accepted: 05 Dec 2018.

Edited by:

Silvia Bea, Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), Spain

Reviewed by:

Benjamin Bonavida, University of California, Los Angeles, United States
Alberto Fabbri, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Senese, Italy  

Copyright: © 2018 Eischen, Adams, Clark-Garvey and Porcu. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Christine Eischen, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, United States, christine.eischen@jefferson.edu