Molecular techniques drive cutting edge advancements in management of cutaneous T cell lymphoma


Cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL), characterized by malignant T cells infiltrating the skin with potential for dissemination, remains a challenging disease to diagnose and treat due to disease heterogeneity, treatment resistance, and lack of effective and standardized diagnostic and prognostic clinical tools. Currently, diagnosis of CTCL practically relies on clinical presentation, histopathology, and immunohistochemistry. These methods are collectively fraught with limitations in sensitivity and specificity. Fortunately, recent advances in flow cytometry, polymerase chain reaction, high throughput sequencing, and other molecular techniques have shown promise in improving diagnosis and treatment of CTCL. Examples of these advances include T cell receptor clonotyping via sequencing to detect CTCL earlier in the disease course and single-cell RNA sequencing to identify gene expression patterns that commonly drive CTCL pathogenesis. Experience with these techniques has afforded novel insights which may translate into enhanced diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for CTCL.

In Frontiers in Immunology
Nick Borcherding
Nick Borcherding
Assistant Professor

My research includes systems immunology, single-cell sequencing technology, and computational frameworks.