The body’s immune system, made up of nodes, lymphatic vessels and other tissues, is needed to fight infection. One of the most common cancers of the immune system in Canada is follicular lymphoma, a disease in which the malignant cells have “swapped” or rearranged parts of chromosomes 14 and 18. This genomic rearrangement in turn leads to an accumulation of damaged cells. With time other genetic changes can occur in the follicular lymphoma cells that bring on a more aggressive form of the disease – diffuse large B cell lymphoma. This project – High resolution analysis of follicular lymphoma genomes – aims to study the genomic rearrangements using cuttingedge techniques.
The project is led by Marco Marra, Senior Scientist at the Genome Sciences Centre of the BC Cancer Agency, Joseph Connors, a professor at UBC and chair of the Lymphoma Tumor Group at the B.C. Cancer Agency, and Randy Gascoyne, a hematopathologist at the BC Cancer Agency, who is also the Canadian member of the International Lymphoma Study Group.
This project represents the first time any group has applied these technologies to profiling the genomes from a human cancer, according to Marra. The project team will undertake a high resolution analysis of 24 lymphoma genomes, including detailed study of the rearranged parts of chromosomes 14 and 18, in order to determine the actual chemical structure of the rearranged DNA. Once the function of these genes and the genetic consequences of the DNA rearrangements are identified, researchers expect to use them as new diagnostic and prognostic markers and potential targets for new therapies.
Integrated GE3LS Research: Health Technology Assessment
GE3LS Project Leaders: Carlo Marra, University of British Columbia
This large-scale scientific research project, High Resolution Analysis of Follicular Lymphoma Genomes, may lead to new diagnostic tools. Therefore, Carlo Marra at UBC will analyze the benefits, risks, and costs of the techniques developed. This health technology assessment will determine the potential societal, social, and economic impact of a test to identify follicular lymphoma and/or its progression to large B-cell lymphoma. The researchers will examine the expected costs and potential quality of life benefits associated with an earlier diagnosis.
The goal of this project is to better inform stakeholders, such as patients, doctors, and policymakers, about all aspects of a new technology