- Dr Maher Gandhi, Principal Investigator
- Dr Ulrich R. Trappe, Co-Investigator
- Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, Australia
- Optimizing the Treatment of Lymphomas that Occur after Transplantation
There is a 30-fold increase in the incidence of lymphoma after organ transplantation. This is largely a consequence of the immunosuppression required to prevent the organ being rejected. In some patients the lymphoma may also be due to a viral infection. The optimal treatment for these lymphomas is unknown. Rituximab is an antibody with anti-lymphoma activity that also stops organ rejection. Its use therefore allows doctors to reduce immunosuppression and hence reduce the risk of the lymphoma coming back after it has been treated. What the molecular differences are between those patients who respond best to rituximab versus those that don’t, and those patients whose lymphoma is due to viral infection and those whose lymphoma isn’t, remains unknown. To provide answers to these questions, we will perform a comprehensive and integrated laboratory study of samples collected as part of an international clinical trial that began in 2003. It is the largest study of its kind. Our findings will facilitate the design of new strategies to treat and prevent this devastating side effect of organ transplantation.