The Normal Process Of B Cell Differentiation Makes Them Susceptible To Mutations That Can Lead To Cancer

As I researched my article on leukemias and lymphomas I discovered that the majority of all leukemias and lymphomas were of the B lymphocyte lineage. Even as an immunologist I was not aware of this. In this article I investigate why this might be the case. This article is a little bit more technical than the previous one because of the genetic mechanisms involved in B cell differentiation and cancer development. At least, I think most of my non-science readers will be able to follow it and get the big picture. At best, it might spark further interest in immunology and the development of the immune system in some of you. If you are so inspired and want to know more, please use the comment box to ask me a question and I’ll answer it in a future article or post.

The majority of leukemias and lymphomas are derived from
B cells. B-ALL, B-CLL, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (HL), the majority of non-Hodgkin’s
Lymphomas (NHL) including DLBCL, FL, Burkitt’s Lymphoma, and many others, and
plasma cell malignancies such as multiple myeloma, are all thought to be
derived from B cells.

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