An RCOR1 loss-associated gene expression signature identifies a prognostically significant DLBCL subgroup.

Fong Chun Chan, Adele Telenius, Shannon Healy, Susana Ben-Neriah, Anja Mottok, Raymond Lim, Marie Drake, Sandy Hu, Jiarui Ding, Gavin Ha, David W Scott, Robert Kridel, Ali Bashashati, Sanja Rogic, Nathalie Johnson, Ryan D Morin, Lisa M Rimsza, Laurie Sehn, Joseph M Connors, Marco A Marra, Randy D Gascoyne, Sohrab P Shah, Christian Steidl, Blood 125, 959-66 (2015)
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Effective treatment of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is plagued by heterogeneous responses to standard therapy, and molecular mechanisms underlying unfavorable outcomes in lymphoma patients remain elusive. Here, we profiled 148 genomes with 91 matching transcriptomes in a DLBCL cohort treated with rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisolone (R-CHOP) to uncover molecular subgroups linked to treatment failure. Systematic integration of high-resolution genotyping arrays and RNA sequencing data revealed novel deletions in RCOR1 to be associated with unfavorable progression-free survival (P = .001). Integration of expression data from the clinical samples with data from RCOR1 knockdowns in the lymphoma cell lines KM-H2 and Raji yielded an RCOR1 loss-associated gene signature comprising 233 genes. This signature identified a subgroup of patients with unfavorable overall survival (P = .023). The prognostic significance of the 233-gene signature for overall survival was reproduced in an independent cohort comprising 195 R-CHOP-treated patients (P = .039). Additionally, we discovered that within the International Prognostic Index low-risk group, the gene signature provides additional prognostic value that was independent of the cell-of-origin phenotype. We present a novel and reproducible molecular subgroup of DLBCL that impacts risk-stratification of R-CHOP-treated DLBCL patients and reveals a possible new avenue for therapeutic intervention strategies.