Immune infiltration 'promising tool' to improve outcomes for follicular lymphoma

Thursday 29 August 2019

In a paper published today in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Mater Research CEO and MRI-UQ Director Professor Maher Gandhi and his team report that immune-infiltration is a promising tool to improve outcomes for patients with follicular lymphoma.

Follicular lymphoma is a slow-growing, common subtype of lymphoma and accounts for approximately 20 per cent of lymphoma cases.  Around 25 per cent of these patients respond poorly to treatment and currently it is difficult to determine which patients are likely to fall into this category.

In one of the largest studies of its kind, Prof Gandhi and his team were able to confirm the results they’d achieved in Brisbane with large cohorts of patients based in Germany and Canada.

Professor Gandhi said that the paper demonstrates that patient outcomes are linked to the intensity of immune cell filtration that occurs within the lymphoma affected node.

“Our data indicates that patients with biopsies showing reduced immune infiltration are more likely to experience poorer outcomes,” Prof Gandhi said.

“These results suggest that appropriate immune based therapies may be effective in selected patients with this disease.

“For patients with follicular lymphoma, these findings may help us to select more effective treatments, based on the extent of immune cell infiltration within their cancerous lymph nodes.  With more effective treatments, we may be able to improve outcomes for these patients, and this is our ultimate goal.”

This study was supported by the NHMRC and the Leukaemia Foundation of Australia.

Journal of Clinical Oncology: