Distinct subtype distribution and somatic mutation spectrum of lymphomas in East Asia

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Purpose of reviewHere, we give an updated overview of the subtype distribution of lymphomas in East Asia and also present the genome sequencing data on two major subtypes of these tumors.Recent findingsThe distribution of lymphoma types/subtypes among East Asian countries is very similar, with a lower proportion of B-cell malignancies and a higher proportion of T/natural killer (NK)-cell lymphomas as compared to Western populations. Extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma is more frequently observed in East Asia, whereas follicular lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia, are proportionally lower. The incidence rate of lymphoma subtypes in Asians living in the US was generally intermediate to the general rate in US and Asia, suggesting that both genetic and environmental factors may underlie the geographical variations observed.Key cancer driver mutations have been identified in Asian patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma or extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma through genome sequencing. A distinct somatic mutation profile has also been observed in Chinese diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patients.SummaryThe incidence and distribution of lymphoma subtypes differed significantly between patients from East Asia and Western countries, suggesting subtype-specific etiologic mechanisms. Further studies on the mechanism underlying these geographical variations may give new insights into our understanding of lymphomagenesis.

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