Lymphoma SPORE Grant
Awarded: $10.6 million over five years -- 2002
Despite progress in lymphoid malignancies, most are still incurable and lead to the death of the patient. More than 63,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma this year alone. The University of Iowa/Mayo Clinic Lymphoma Specialized Program of Research Excellence in Lymphoma (UI/MC SPORE) is a highly successful translational research program that takes advantage of the combined strengths of the translational lymphoma programs of the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa and Mayo Clinic Cancer Center - two National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers.
During the prior funding period, the UI/MC SPORE has been highly productive. A number of scientific accomplishments resulted, including translational studies exploring the potential of a novel therapeutic agent using CpG dinucleotides (CpG ODN) - a piece of DNA that stimulates the immune system - as a treatment for B cell malignancies. Laboratory studies performed through the SPORE increased the researchers' understanding of the importance of regulatory T cells in B cell lymphomas and led to a new clinical trial to further refine this knowledge. The investigators' work has also shown that the genetic makeup of a patient's immune system may predict the risk of getting lymphoma and also affect the overall survival of the patient. They also developed novel approaches to imaging that may contribute to the understanding of lymphoma cell biology.
Five early phase therapeutic clinical trials have been opened as part of the UI/MC SPORE, including four studies that have accrued subjects at both Iowa and Mayo. Since initiation of the UI/MC SPORE in 2002, 96 subjects have been enrolled on therapeutic trials and 17 on novel imaging trials. DNA and extensive clinical data have been collected on nearly 2,000 patients between UI and Mayo as part of the UI/MC Lymphoma SPORE Molecular Epidemiologic Resource. This resource will be increasingly valuable as a tool for identifying genetic factors that contribute to lymphoma genesis and response to therapy.
The underlying culture of the UI/MC SPORE is one of interaction and collaboration. This has led to multiple interactions with other SPORE programs across the country, other National Cancer Institute-funded research programs and institutions, and industry during the initial funding period.
Some of the UI/MC SPORE research is being applied in studies of other cancer types. Additionally, research supported by the UI/MC SPORE has also contributed to advances in biomarkers and novel imaging techniques that are now being applied by other groups.
The renewed award will accelerate the progress of the UI/MC SPORE and consists of four research Projects, four Core Resources, and Career Development and Developmental Research Programs. All units within the UI/MC SPORE work to draw on the resources of both institutions to expedite the translation of discoveries into new and better approaches to the prevention and treatment of lymphoma.
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