BostonGene Corporation has announced a major collaboration with Queensland-based Mater Research to research novel diagnostic biomarkers of follicular lymphoma and ultimately improve treatment for patients in advanced stages of the disease.
Follicular lymphoma is a type of blood cancer diagnosed in around 1,500 Australians yearly and is usually slow-growing. However, around 20 per cent of cases will rapidly progress after frontline therapy, with patients facing poor long-term survival rates.
Led by Honorary Senior Research Fellow Dr Joshua Tobin, Mater Research will work with US-based molecular and immune profiling leader BostonGene to analyse hundreds of follicular lymphoma (FL) biopsy samples and assess the prognostic impact of changes in immune function within each tumour.
BostonGene will provide whole transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq), comprehensive spatial proteomics and advanced analytics to develop clinically applicable RNA and protein-based biomarkers for clinical practice.
“Follicular lymphoma has a very variable clinical course, which is very slow to develop in some, but in other patients can progress quickly and become very difficult to treat successfully,” said Dr Tobin.
“By leveraging BostonGene’s next-generation sequencing and powerful analytics, we hope to accelerate our research identifying new biomarkers in patients with advanced-stage follicular lymphoma.
“This collaboration undoubtedly has the potential to improve treatment decisions for people diagnosed with follicular lymphoma in future.”
The project is being supported by Australia’s Snowdome Foundation and the American Society of Hematology Global Scholar Award.
“We are pleased to support Mater Research in its research efforts to find optimal treatments for Mater, and ultimately all, patients with follicular lymphoma,” said Dr Nathan Fowler, chief medical officer at BostonGene.
“With BostonGene’s multi-faceted approach, we are excited to support Mater Research in discovering distinct characteristics that could be useful for other patients with advanced blood cancers worldwide.”