Simultaneous targeting of XPO1 and BCL2 as an effective treatment strategy for double-hit lymphoma

Yuanhui Liu, Nancy G. Azizian, Yaling Dou, Lan V. Pham, Yulin Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Double-hit lymphoma (DHL) is among the most aggressive and chemoresistant lymphoma subtypes. DHLs carry genomic abnormalities in MYC, BCL2, and/or BCL6 oncogenes. Due to the simultaneous overexpression of these driver oncogenes, DHLs are highly resistant to frontline therapies. Most DHLs overexpress both MYC and BCL2 driver oncogenes concurrently. We reasoned that simultaneous suppression of the two driver oncogenes would be more effective in eradicating DHLs than inactivation of single oncogene. XPO1 is a receptor for nuclear cytoplasmic transport of protein and RNA species. Recently, XPO1 inhibition was shown to downregulate MYC expression in several cancer cell lines. We therefore examined the role of XPO1 as a therapeutic target in suppressing MYC function and the potential synergistic effects of simultaneous suppression of XPO1 and BCL2 in the treatment of DHL. Here, we demonstrate that XPO1 inhibition abrogates MYC protein expression and induces massive tumor cell apoptosis. Combined use of XPO1 and BCL2 inhibitors is highly effective in eradicating DHL cells in cell culture. Notably, in a mouse model of DHL bearing primary tumor cells derived from lymphoma patients, combined treatment with XPO1 and BCL2 inhibitors blocks tumor progression, prevents brain metastasis, and extends host survival. Thus, our study confirms the simultaneous targeting of MYC and BCL2 driver oncogenes through the combined use of XPO1 and BCL2 inhibitors as a unique approach for the treatment of DHLs.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Hematology and Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 21 2019


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