Newly Emerging Therapies Targeting Viral-Related Lymphomas
Gamma-(γ)-herpes virus lymphomas comprise a heterogenous group of B-cell and T-cell neoplasms most commonly associated with Epstein-Barr virus and rarely human herpes virus-8 infection. Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL) is a unique disease entity caused by the human T-cell lymphotrophic virus, type 1 (HTLV-I), the only retrovirus known to cause cancer in humans. Viral lymphomas behave aggressively and disproportionally affect immunocompromised individuals and those living in underdeveloped regions. These diseases are often difficult to treat with conventional approaches. Despite recent advancements using cytotoxic, lymphoma-specific, and adoptive therapies, the long-term outcome of patients with γ-herpesvirus lymphomas occurring in severely immunocompromised patients and ATLL continues to be poor. Lytic-inducing therapies targeting NF-κB, and viral and tumor cell epigenetic mechanisms afford the advantage of exploiting the intrinsic presence of oncogenic viruses to eradicate infected tumor cells. In this review, viral-related lymphomas and newly emerging clinical approaches targeting viral latency are discussed.