Understanding the impact of relapsed lymphoid cancers

A rendering of a lympoid cancer

Collectively, lymphoid cancers are the 5th most common cancer and affect patients of all ages. In Canada alone 16,000 patients are newly diagnosed, and 6,000 patients will die of lymphoid cancers each year. Disease-specific mortality is almost exclusively attributable to relapsed disease, when standard care treatments fail to cure the patient’s cancer. Therefore, successful treatment for relapsed disease represents an important need for patients suffering from lymphoid cancers.

Data access has been approved for a research project to enhance and evaluate genomics-informed strategies to diagnose and treat patients with relapsed disease. The multi-year study titled, "Deciphering the genome biology of relapsed lymphoid cancers to improve patient management", was awarded the 2017 Large-Scale Applied Research Project (LSARP) Competition in Genomics and Precision Health. The project leader is Dr. Christian Steidl, Director, Centre for Lymphoid Cancer at BC Cancer, working with Dr. Marco Marra, Distinguished Scientist at BC Cancer, and Dr. David Scott, Clinician Scientist at BC Cancer. Over 4 years, investigators will assess the clinical and economic value of biomarker informed care for relapsed lymphoid cancers.

Dr. Dean Regier, Senior Scientist, Cancer Control Research, BC Cancer and Associate Professor, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, is leading the societal implications component of the project. As Dr. Regier describes, “this project is conducting health economic and preference analyses in order to guide potential implementation of clinical management changes for relapsed disease.”

Dr Regier’s team is examining whether identifying subpopulations of patients who will not respond to certain treatments will improve quality of life or lead to a reduction in health care expenditure by avoiding costly interventions that fail to provide patient benefit.

“The use of genomic markers has the potential to improve quality of life and survival, either by determining expected response to medical interventions (i.e., drugs that target a specific gene expression pathway) or by identifying those who are in need of additional adjuvant care (intensified chemotherapy regimens, for example),” says Dr. Regier.

In his role as co-investigator, Dr. Regier’s team will apply a mixed methods approach to determining stakeholder values for the clinical implementation of biomarkers informed care. Engagement with patients, publics, clinicians and decision makers across Canada will ensure that research outputs and recommendations reflect health system stakeholder preferences and priorities.

PopData will link the following data sets for the study:

  • BC Cancer Registry (BC Cancer)
  • Discharge Abstracts Database (BC Ministry of Health)
  • Medical Services Plan Payment History (BC Ministry of Health)
  • PharmaNet (BC Ministry of Health)
  • Vital Statistics Deaths (BC Ministry of Health)
  • Consolidation file (BC Ministry of Health)

This study is supported by a Large Scale Applied Research Project (LSARP) from Genome Canada (13124), Genome British Columbia (271LYM), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the British Columbia Cancer Foundation (BCCF).