DNA from lymphoma cells

Aggressive large B-cell lymphomas include diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, which is the most frequent type of lymphoma, with about 450 cases annually in Denmark. The disease is highly aggressive, and fatal without treatment. Approximately 65% of patients can be cured with immuno-chemotherapy. Unfortunately, about 35% suffer relapses. It can be very difficult to determine in scans whether there are signs of active lymphoma.

“In our project we are investigating whether an advanced molecular biological method called Next Generation Sequencing can be used to measure DNA from lymphoma cells in a blood sample, and in that way detect minimal residues of disease or relapses earlier than we can at present,” says Gayaththri Vimalathas, senior house officer at the Department of Clinical Pathology at Odense University Hospital.

The Vissing Foundation has supported this project earlier, and the renewed support from the foundation will help the researchers in the final phase to complete the molecular biological investigations on a large number of blood samples.

“The support of the Vissing Foundation is important, because it helps to secure the necessary molecular biological and bioinformatic expertise and assistance required for the complex laboratory work and data analyses,” says Gayaththri Vimalathas.

The project will contribute valuable knowledge as an important step towards being able to offer more reliable diagnosis to patients with aggressive large B-cell lymphoma, and provide better, more individualised treatment and follow-up through a simple and easily accessible blood test. Ultimately, it is hoped that it will help to improve patients’ survival.