Every year, on 15 September, the global population unites for World Lymphoma Awareness Day to raise awareness of cancers of the lymphatic system.
At Porterhouse, we are proud and passionate about the work we do with our partners to help improve people’s lives. In this instance, we would like to share some facts about the latest advances for the treatment of lymphatic cancer.
Lymphatic cancer, or lymphoma, affects lymph glands or other organs of the lymphatic system. Lymphomas can be broadly stratified into two classes: Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). HL is rare compared with NHL, accounting for about 20% of all lymphoma cases. Each year, around 2,100 people are diagnosed with HL in the UK compared with around 13,700 who are diagnosed with NHL. Unfortunately, lymphomas show a high degree of heterogeneity, with NHL being classified into 60 different subtypes. This means that lymphomas can behave very differently and will likely require tailored treatments, depending on the subtype.
Common treatments for patients diagnosed with lymphomas include:
Ongoing research into both HL and NHL is currently focused on improving patients’ lives by reducing therapy side effects and developing more targeted approaches. For example, chemotherapy can be used in combination with biological therapies (targeted cancer drugs), and radiotherapy doses can be lowered to reduce side effects. Monoclonal antibodies, cancer growth blockers, poly(adenosine diphosphate–ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells are among the latest and most advanced therapies.
CAR T-cell therapies, for example, represent a new generation of personalised cancer treatment that require the isolation, modification and re-injection of a patient’s own immune cells to treat their cancer.
These novel therapies have the potential to revolutionise the outlook for patients affected by particularly aggressive forms of lymphatic cancer, whose therapeutic options are limited and who, therefore, represent an unmet need.
If you would like to know more about lymphoma and what treatments are currently under investigation, please visit the Cancer Research UK website (www.cancerresearchuk.org).
Another useful resource is the statistics page of the Haematological Malignancy Research Network website (www.hmrn.org/statistics).