Can drugs for other blood cancers be used in lymphoma?

Lead researcher - Professor Guido Franzoso, Imperial College London
Developing novel therapeutics to cancer-selectively target the NF-kB pathway in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma
Amount awarded: £232,935
Award start date: 01 May 2015
Award duration: 3 yrs (36 months)

Professor Franzoso and colleagues have previously developed a new cancer drug which they plan to trial in patients with multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer.  They reported how the drug, known as DTP3, kills myeloma cells in laboratory tests and mice, without causing any toxic side effects, the main problem with other cancer drugs.

The new drug works by stopping a key process that allows cancer cells to outlive their normal lifespan and carry on multiplying.

The team has since discovered how DTP3 also kill other types of blood cancer, including lymphoma.  Over 90,000 people develop lymphoma in the UK and US each year.  Unfortunately, current therapies are too toxic and ineffective for many of these patients.  As a result, one third of them will die of their disease in five years.

The researchers have tested DTP3 in cellular models of these especially malignant types of lymphoma, where other drugs do not work, and found it is highly effective.  This grant will allow them to study their drug in lymphoma in more detail.  Once these tests are completed, they hope to start a new trial to develop an effective treatment for lymphoma patients who cannot benefit from current drugs.