Dr. Rodney Miles – Translational Research Grant
University of Utah
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is a common cancer in children, adolescents, and young adults. Although curable, a subset of patients still dies because their lymphoma does not respond well to standard therapies. Further research is required to develop novel therapies in the laboratory and then translate these into more effective treatments through clinical trials. Mechanisms of therapy resistance in NHL is a focus of the Miles laboratory, but true translational research requires molecular investigation of patient tumor specimens to characterize the differences between curable and incurable lymphomas and to identify possible therapeutic targets. There is currently no centralized collection of lymphoma specimens from young patients to support research, which is a major limitation to advancing NHL therapies for these patients. With the support of the PCRF, we have opened and are maintaining a biospecimen repository focused on NHL in young patients. The repository collects leftover tissues from surgical biopsy procedures to make them available to pediatric NHL researchers. Under the leadership of Dr. Mitchell Cairo in the Pediatric Cancer Foundation Research Laboratory, we have established a nationwide network of collaborating researchers with a track record of advancing NHL biology and therapy in young patients. These physicians will contribute specimens from their institutions and also participate in collaborative, translational research with Drs. Miles and Cairo to identify molecular features of NHL tumors and develop novel therapeutic approaches.