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Understanding the biology of aggressive DLBCL

We need to find new ways to treat diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Prof Ming-Qing Du is studying changes in the DNA of an aggressive type of DLBCL. This could lead to new treatments to give people living with the disease a better chance of survival.

The challenge

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common type of blood cancer in adults, with over 3,000 new cases diagnosed in the UK every year. Sadly, the standard treatments aren’t always able to cure the disease. We need to find new ways to treat people with DLBCL and give them the best possible chance of survival.

The project

In previous research, Prof Ming-Qing Du and his colleagues have identified a subtype of DLBCL which is particularly aggressive. He now wants to learn more about the biology of this high-risk form of the disease, which could lead to new treatments to control it. In this project, Prof Du will study samples donated by hundreds of people with DLBCL. In these samples, he will look for a series of specific changes in the DNA. These changes could explain why some types of DLBCL are more aggressive than others. In doing so, he will be able to link certain patterns of DNA changes to an increased risk of relapse or treatment resistance.

The future

Prof Du’s research will reveal why certain cases of DLBCL are more resistant to treatment than others. This will help him and other researchers to develop tools to predict the outlook for people with DLBCL. It could also identify avenues for new treatments for aggressive subtypes of this lymphoma. In the long term, Prof Du’s research will improve treatment for DLBCL, and so improve the chances of survival for people living with the disease.