Healthy Living

Genetic Link Between Immune System and Lymphoma May Provide Insight

The first of its kind

This study was groundbreaking for a number of reasons, but especially because it is the largest to study these aspects of Hodgkin lymphoma. Most of those who suffer from Hodgkin lymphoma can be treated with first-line therapies. For a majority of patients, these are successful, but for some, they fail. In these circumstances, there is a need for a different form of treatment, and these forms of research are better enabling pharmaceutical companies to find alternatives.

Professor Paul Workman is the Chief Executive of The Institute of Cancer Research in London, and further explains why studies like these are crucial in approaching new forms of cancer treatment: "Understanding the genetic changes that underpin cancer's development is crucial for all aspects of our quest to defeat cancer - to understand which patients are most at risk from different types of cancer, to improve diagnosis, and to develop treatments that are more likely to work for individual patients. This important new study sheds light on the DNA changes that can contribute to a person's risk of developing Hodgkin lymphoma, and offers clues as to how they might increase that risk, including the interesting link to the immune system. These findings could lead to new ways of managing the disease."

Professor Houlston agrees, saying, "the new information could point towards new ways of diagnosing, treating, or even helping to prevent Hodgkin lymphoma."