Tuesday, 23 January 2018

VCA grant enables research into lymphoma

Dr Zahra Sabouri-Thompson
Patients diagnosed with lymphoma are set to benefit from new research at Monash University thanks to a Victorian Cancer Agency grant.

Research fellow Dr Zahra Sabouri-Thompson, Blood Cancer Therapeutics Laboratory at the Monash Health Translation Precinct was awarded the highly competitive Early Career Seed grant worth $150,000 to improve outcomes for patients with T-cell lymphoma.

Lymphoma is the fifth most common cancer in Australia, and the most common blood cancer. Every year more than 7000 new cases are diagnosed, the incidence having more than doubled in the last 20 years.

Lymphoma is a cancer that develops from either B-cell or T-cells—different types of blood cells of the immune system.

“Unlike B-cell lymphoma, T-cell lymphoma is much harder to treat and often becomes resistant to conventional chemotherapy,” Dr Sabouri-Thompson said.

“Our team has previously noticed that some of the genes that are mutated in T-cell lymphoma are also seen in another disease, myelodysplasia, a bone marrow cancer.”

“This grant enables us to now test an exciting new myelodysplasia drug, Guadecitabine in T-cell lymphoma.”

Dr Sabouri-Thompson said this project will lead to a better understanding of how Guadecitabine works in T-cell lymphoma, translating to improved outcomes for patients with the disease.

The Blood Cancer Therapeutics Laboratory is headed by Associate Professor Jake Shortt, who is also consultant Haematologist at Monash Health.

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