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News.

Recent grants made

Core Grant to Haematology Trials Group.

In November 2018, the Trustees awarded funding to the value of £415,762 over a period of three calendar years from 2019 to 2021 to fund a tumour group lead, data manager, senior trials co-ordinator and a database developer, together dealing with setting up of databases, long-term follow up and publications of trials. The trials unit has delivered a large programme of work and continues to flourish.

Dr. David Cutter, Clinical Trial Service Unit, Oxford

In November 2018, the Trustees awarded £48,000 to Dr. Cutter for his project on the characterisation of the heart using cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging in patients with lymphoma receiving mediastinal radiotherapy.

This research will lead to the development of tests (biomarkers) that can detect the early effects of radiation on the heart and aim to provide evidence supporting the use of proton beam therapy (PBT) mediastinal lymphoma.  The ultimate aim of this research is to help obtain this evidence for adult patients with mediastinal lymphoma who could benefit from these forms of radiotherapy but who, without convincing evidence, may not be given access to these new treatments.
A secondary benefit is that these sensitive tests of cardiac damage or dysfunction will help demonstrate which patients are at higher risk of long-term side cardiac effects and will therefore help identify which patients should receive closer follow-up and surveillance for these effects, enabling early diagnosis and treatment of heart problems as necessary.

Dr. Robbert Hoogeboom, Kings College

In November 2018, the Trustees awarded £18,000 to Dr. Hoogeboom  for his project on Identifying Bruton Tyrosine Kinase inhibitor unresponsive malignant B cells.

The work aims to provide an explanation as to why not all tumour cells respond to treatment with BCR signalling inhibitors. This project will help identify those patients, where treatment with these types of drugs are likely to be less effective, which will enable an informed choice of an alternative or combination therapy.

Dr. Matthew Timmins, University of Leicester

In May 2018, the Trustees awarded £11,800 to Dr. Timmins for his project on using mass cytometry (CyTOF) to produce a detailed map of normal circulation T-cell subsets.

We received an update from Dr. Timmins in May 2019 as below;

Mass cytometry is a new technique that allows characterisation of single cells on the basis of up to 40 surface markers and shows great promise for the detection and tracking of small subsets of normal or pathological cells but has not previously been applied to peripheral T-cell lymphoma.

In collaboration with the University of Birmingham, a custom designed T-cell focused CyTOF panel has been developed composed of 40 markers. Comparison of CyTOF and conventional flow cytometry showed the major markers were expressed at similar frequencies in the two techniques thereby validating the staining and analysis carried out in Leicester and Birmingham. Optimisation of antibody staining in additional healthy volunteers followed by disease states will be performed prior to analysis of samples from our nationwide phase 2a clinical trial of avelumab in relapsed and refractory peripheral T cell lymphoma (AVAIL-T).

We look forward to hearing the final report towards the end of the year.

Haematology Trials Group Update

LRT approved a grant to fund a Senior Trials Co-Ordinator post within the Haematology Trials Group for 2 years from June 2017. This was to facilitate the publishing and archiving of high quality trials that had been closed to recruitment. This task is a valuable element in ensuring that important data is recorded appropriately, especially where ground-breaking studies had resulted, and can then be made available to the lymphoma community (physicians, funders and patients).

Dr. Heather Long, University of Birmingham

In November 2016, the trustees awarded Dr. Heather Long a grant of £20,000 for her project investigating the immune microenvironment of post-transplant lymphoma in a standardised clinical trial cohort. Due to patient samples being delayed this trial was only started in April 2017, but has since recruited very successfully and good progress is being made. Dr. Long has set up assays and started the analysis of the trial cohort and we look forward to her update in due course.