For the past 10 years, beyond chemotherapy combined with the first anti-CD20 antibody (rituximab) that targets tumor-infiltrating B lymphocytes, the therapeutic arsenal against lymphomas has increased thanks to the better understanding of the functional mechanisms of cancer cells and their supportive microenvironment: these novel therapies are the targeted cancer therapies and immunotherapy. However, despite this significant breakthrough, the variability of the clinical response is such that it is still difficult to predict the efficacy of a specific treatment.
Within the SITI laboratory, we study the impact of novels drugs on cancer cells and on cells of the tumor microenvironment, through the immune-monitoring of patients throughout their treatment.
We focus in particular on the blood compartment, easily accessible, that allows the analysis of both the circulating lymphoma cells (potential counterpart of the lymph node tumor cells), but also of the immune cells, the activation of which being possibly the reflection of the systemic reaction to cancer.
Our final goal is to identify blood biomarkers that are predictive of the treatment efficacy, henceforth allowing the personalized follow-up of the disease evolution and the adjustment of the treatment.
The SITI laboratory is currently in charge of the immune-monitoring of three clinical protocols:
- The FLIRT protocol compares two routes of administration of rituximab in patients diagnosed with low grade follicular lymphoma,
- The GALEN protocol investigates a specific drug, lenalidomide, that belongs to the family of the immunomodulatory drugs that becomes increasingly important in the treatment of lymphomas,
- The NIVEAU protocol tests the benefice of immunotherapy with nivolumab in patients diagnosed with aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma who are relapsing or refractory to other treatments.