11 Jan 2019 Research
Lymphoma: Understanding relapse and treatment resistance
What is this research looking at?
Our immune system is remarkable. It is made up of many different types of immune cells that work together to protect the body from infection by pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and parasites.
We are investigating what happens when a certain type of cell in the immune system, known as B cells, starts growing out of control and develops into blood cancers such as leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.
We want to know what happens when B cells mature normally from precursor cells in the bone marrow and discover what has gone wrong when they turn into cancer cells instead.
Considerable success has been achieved in the treatment of lymphoma. However, a significant unmet need remains: roughly 40% of patients either do not respond to treatment or the condition recurs after treatment. Currently, our ability to predict which patients will fail treatment is poor.
By taking a detailed look at B cells as they develop and specialise, we can spot small groups of dangerous cells that are particularly likely to turn into cancer and identify the genetic faults that drive B cells to grow out of control.
We are using our knowledge to create new models for the development of B cells and blood cancers in the lab, so we can find new ways to treat or even prevent these deadly diseases.
Our research uses a model of lymphoma to test the response to treatments and development of resistance. A main advantage of the model is that we can interrogate these questions on a well-defined scenario and can perform iterative tests and predictions. Further, the model generated in this project will allow initial testing of novel treatments.
What could this mean for people with leukaemia?
This research could inform the medical decision of when to use combination and novel therapies for patients with a higher probability of developing resistance to standard treatment, alongside bringing safer treatments to patients.
Official project title: Development of a model system to study diffuse large B cell lymphoma clonal evolution
1 August 2022
New research could help detect leukaemia earlier in older people
New research findings, published in the scientific journal Nature Medicine, could help better predict risk of leukaemia in older people and ultimately improve early diagnosis of the disease. The research…
23 September 2022
Spectacular sailing challenge in memory of Pat Buckley
Royal Corinthian Yacht Club’s 61st Endeavour Trophy fundraiser for Leukaemia UK A fleet of thirty boats displaying the Leukaemia UK logo on their sails will put on a spectacular racing…
31 October 2023
Chris Dew joins Leukaemia UK as Director of Finances & Resources
Leukaemia UK is delighted to announce the appointment of Chris Dew as Director of Finance & Resources, following ten years as Chief Financial Officer at musical therapy charity Nordoff-Robbins. The…
30 November 2023
Leukaemia UK invests in next generation of blood cancer trial leaders
This week, aspiring chief investigators of future cutting-edge blood cancer clinical trials took to Birmingham for the DIDACT Foundation’s inaugural Clinical Trials Workshop – an event funded by Leukaemia UK….