22 May 2023

A trial will soon be launched focusing on a new way to detect central nervous system (CNS) involvement in lymphoma.

Many lymphomas can be successfully treated and controlled for long periods of time. However, in about 2% to 5% of cases, lymphoma spreads to the CNS, which causes life expectancy to drop to just a few months.

Now, Dr Noémie Lang of the University of Geneva, Switzerland, has been awarded the Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research Trial Network Award, which supports early career researchers in cancer.

The award brings one million Swiss francs – the equivalent of just under £900,000 – to put towards the research.

Dr Lang explains that early detection of CNS involvement in lymphomas may be possible using sequencing technology to detect circulating tumour DNA in the blood and the cerebrospinal fluid.

“Preventive therapeutic approaches exist; however, they need to be administered in a more targeted manner by an early accurate detection of central nervous system involvement in high-risk individuals, treating positively detected patients and sparing toxicities to negatively detected patients”, she said.

Current diagnostic tests have low performance, with detection rates ranging from 8% to 50%.

“The measurement of circulating tumour DNA in the cerebrospinal fluid will outperform currently used assays for detecting central nervous system involvement in lymphoma,” she believes.

“This study represents a cornerstone in the development of preventive strategies and early detection of asymptomatic central nervous system involvement in lymphoma. Therapeutic strategies can be accordingly applied to prevent the disease from progressing, becoming symptomatic, and more difficult to treat.”

The trial will include over 60 participants at 12 Swiss treatment centres.

Source: University of Geneva


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