Improving the diagnosis of people with mantle cell lymphoma

Lead researcher - Professor Simon Rule, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust
Cell Bank: Establishing a Biobank and Database as a National Resource for Characterising Indolent and Aggressive forms of Mantle Cell Lymphoma
Amount awarded: £218,535
Award start date: 01 Aug 2014
Award duration: 5.5 years (66 months)

Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is an aggressive lymphoma and generally has a poor outcome. However, it is becoming clear that a subgroup of patients have disease that behaves in an indolent way. It is not yet possible to know who these patients are at diagnosis. It is the norm to treat patients with MCL at diagnosis, however for over a decade in Plymouth, patients have been watched without any therapy if they have no symptoms at diagnosis. This practise has proven that around 30% patients do not need immediate treatment with some requiring no treatment for over 10 years. This approach does not affect the survival of these patients.

We wish to set up a study to capture data on newly diagnosed MCL patients. This will include clinical details and the storage of disease biopsies and blood samples. There is no treatment arm in the trial but the recommendation will be to monitor rather than treat asymptomatic patients. Patients who don’t need therapy for at least 2 years will have indolent disease and by examining their samples in comparison with the patients needing immediate treatment we hope to find the factors that will allow these patients to be diagnosed.