CRIS CLINICAL TALENT PROGRAMME 2021
Follicular lymphoma is one of the most common types of blood cancer. Although it tends to be relatively non-aggressive, it still currently has no cure. In addition, a significant number of patients (between 15% and 20%) relapse or do not respond to treatments.
One of the biggest problems with this type of tumours is that it is very difficult to know which patients will develop more aggressive forms, which patients will respond to treatments, and which of them could benefit from immunotherapy treatments such as CAR-T. The development of effective predictive methods is crucial, as it would allow clinicians to devise much more personalised treatment strategies, anticipate the most complicated cases, and even eventually cure this type of tumour.
The team led by Dr Ana Jiménez has launched the CURE_FL study to tackle this important clinical challenge. In this project, samples from 200 patients with follicular lymphoma will be studied, and a combination of the most advanced analysis techniques will be performed: firstly, the team will sequence and study the DNA of tumour cells that may be present in the blood (CT-DNA, Circulating Tumour DNA). These are highly sensitive, non-invasive techniques that provide a huge amount of information. Secondly, these data will be combined with imaging techniques such as PET/CT, which provide information on tumour cell activity. The combination of all these data will help identify patients at higher risk, adapt therapies to individual characteristics, and predict which patients will benefit from immunotherapy. This important study will help prevent relapses, provide a better choice of treatments, and improve the quality of life of patients with follicular lymphoma.