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Lymphoma Experts Featured in WHO Book on Hematolymphoid Tumors

Illustration of non-Hodgkin lymphoma cells
Article Details
  • Three Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center lymphoma physician-scientists contributed to “World Health Organization Classfication of Haematolymphoid Tumours.”
  • Drs. Catalina Amador-Ortiz, Izidore Lossos and Jennifer Chapman all gave their expertise to the international standard for hematopathology practice.
  • Sylvester Director Dr. Stephen Nimer said the contribution is yet another example of Sylvester’s worldwide impact.

Three lymphoma experts from Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, are featured as authors and co-authors in the fifth edition of the “World Health Organization Classification of Haematolymphoid Tumours.”

The text will serve as the international standard for diagnostic hematopathology practice and form the basis for translating cancer research into practice. 

Every few years, the World Health Organization (WHO) updates its classifications to include the latest advances in the specialty. These chapters provide definitive diagnostic and treatment criteria. In the latest edition, Catalina Amador-Ortiz, M.D., associate professor of pathology at the Miller School, authored one chapter and served as co-author on three. Izidore Lossos, M.D., chief of the Lymphoma Section in Sylvester’s Division of Hematology and a Miller School professor of hematology, and Jennifer Chapman, M.D., professor of clinical pathology and chief of Sylvester’s Division of Hematopathology, co-authored one chapter each. 

“Our researchers’ contributions to the ‘World Health Organization Classification of Haematolymphoid Tumours’ is just one example of the impact Sylvester is making across the world,” said Stephen Nimer, M.D., director of Sylvester, the Oscar de La Renta Endowed Chair in Cancer Research and executive dean for research at the Miller School. “Our experts are helping write the book on the diagnostic and treatment criteria for these diseases. We are so proud of the important work our physicians and scientists are doing for the patients in our community and the entire field.” 

The chapters authored by Dr. Amador-Ortiz focus on mature T-cell lymphomas, which include several aggressive types of cancer with poor patient prognoses. These cancers comprise various lymphomas that affect T cells that play crucial roles in the immune system. Dr. Amador’s chapter on “Peripheral T-cell Lymphoma, Not Otherwise Specified” serves as a “catch-all” category for difficult-to-classify T-cell lymphomas.

Dr. Christine Amador
Dr. Amador-Ortiz’s work focuses on mature T-cell lymphomas.

“My research focus has been dedicated to better characterize and understand these difficult-to-diagnose and treat lymphomas,” Dr. Amador-Ortiz said. “We believe that a better understanding will facilitate the discovery of innovative treatments for these cancers, which unfortunately often have limited treatment options and poor patient outcomes.”

Dr. Amador-Ortiz also co-authored the chapters “Nodal T-follicular Helper Cell Lymphoma, Angioimmunoblastic Type,” “Nodal T-follicular Helper Cell Lymphoma, Follicular Type” and “Nodal T-follicular Helper Cell Lymphoma, NOS.”  

“In the latest edition of the WHO classification, the main changes in these chapters were the introduction of a refined nomenclature to better highlight the origin of these tumors and to emphasize their interrelatedness,” Dr. Amador-Ortiz added. 

Dr. Christine Amador
Dr. Lossos’ knowledge of mantle cell lymphomas helped with WHO classification of the cancer type.

Dr. Lossos’ knowledge on the subject guided the classification chapter on the topic and linked the common pathological findings and subdivision of several subtypes to clinical features, presentation and outcomes. In addition, he expands on the genetics of the disease and describes its diagnostic features. His collaborative work on the chapter was a year-long process, with strategic meetings discussing inclusion criteria, visuals and layout. 

The text will serve as a guiding source for pathologists.

“It will be their go-to source for when they make a diagnosis or need consultation,” Dr. Lossos said. “Experts will not only use this book when they have uncommon cases, but residents and fellows will benefit, as they will be able to clearly understand what to do with this disease.” 

Dr. Chapman, whose research focuses on lymphomagenesis driven by oncoviruses including the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), coauthored the chapter on “EBV-Positive Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma.”

“Most of my published works are related to developing our understanding of the biology of EBV and HTLV-1/HTLV-2-related hematolymphoid neoplasms,” Dr. Chapman said. “Our goal is to identify new biomarkers of these diseases that can be used in reproducible disease classification for diagnosis and protein and gene expression patterns that can be used to predict prognosis and efficacy of targeted therapies.” 

Dr. Christine Amador
Dr. Chapman provided succinct descriptions of lymphomagenesis in Epstein-Barr virus.

As co-author, Dr. Chapman provided succinct descriptions of the world’s current understanding of lymphomagenesis in EBV and patient demographics, clinical features, biological underpinnings, histopathologic features, diagnostic criteria and prognosis that characterize this lymphoma.

“The WHO classification is the written authority used worldwide to guide the diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients,” Dr. Chapman said. “Each of these chapters describes our collective understanding of specific disease entities and clinical diagnostic criteria. The real-time application of this understanding adds precision to clinical diagnostics, promoting standardization of treatment and enriching study enrollment and learning. In this way, we push forward our knowledge and its direct application to future patients.”

Tags: Dr. Catalina Amador, Dr. Izidore Lossos, Dr. Jennifer Chapman, hematolymphoid tumors, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, World Health Organization