£2m award for research into blood cancer led by University of Southampton

14 October 2015. Source: University of Southampton

Coordinated by the University of Southampton, this unique collaborative project aims to allow doctors to rapidly determine the precise genetic signature of a patient’s lymphoma and then find drugs tailor-made to target the genetic faults driving the cancer.

The universities of Southampton, Leeds, Oxford, Cambridge and Queen Mary London have been awarded more than £2m by blood cancer charity Bloodwise.

Lymphomas are a group of cancers of the blood, and are diagnosed in over 11,000 people of all ages each year in the UK. Lymphomas start in the body's lymphatic system, a part of our immune system that fights against disease and infection.

This will be the world’s first study to also monitor variation in the activity of genes in real time to characterise diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, the commonest aggressive lymphoma. Using this technique, the researchers hope to reveal how lymphomas develop and how these can be treated by matching new precision drugs to patients’ biological profiles.