Over 1,200 British Columbians will be diagnosed with a form of lymphoma this year. Lymphoid cancers are among the most common cancers to affect children and young adults, but they can strike at any age.

Both non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma are a part of a broad range of cancers arising from the lymphoid system. 

While highly effective treatments are available for lymphoid cancers and many patients (approx. 50 per cent) can be cured from advanced disease, research is crucial in increasing these odds.

Personalized Treatment

The BC Cancer Agency's Centre for Lymphoid Cancer is one of the world's leading lymphoid research centres. Developed by Drs. Randy Gascoyne and Joe Connors, the Centre conducts lab and clinical research and their discoveries have made a global impact on the understanding and treatment of these cancers.

Right now this team is implementing a personalized treatment delivery system based on the genomic profile of each lymphoid cancer patient with an end goal of making this the standard of care for all patients in B.C.  

Over 300 patients have enrolled, representing Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma, Follicular Lymphoma and Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Participating patients donate tumour samples that undergo whole genome sequencing (DNA and RNA) and already the data has influenced a change in the targeted sequencing panel to include newly discovered mutations.

Improving Survival

While effective treatments exist for both Follicular Lymphoma and Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma, a significant number of patients will have a poor response to treatment.The key is predicting, right at the time of diagnosis, whether a patient will respond well to treatment or not. 

Dr. Gascoyne has developed a tool to predict which patients’ disease will progress rapidly and which patients are at risk for developing aggressive lymphoma so clinicians will be able to offer high-risk patients more effective therapies at the time of diagnosis.

Research is our Foundation

BC Cancer Foundation donors are instrumental in moving these critical studies forward. In the last decade alone, the Centre for Lymphoid Cancer has generated a wealth of data and now work is underway to distill this information into prognostic tests, new treatment targets and new therapeutics to benefit patients in the near future. 

 

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