Cedars-Sinai Cancer researchers have made a groundbreaking discovery in predicting the recurrence of immune system cancer in patients undergoing a bone marrow transplant. The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, utilized a novel technique called spatial profiling to predict patient outcomes with higher accuracy than current methods. This advancement in precision medicine could lead to more targeted treatments for cancer patients.
Dr. Akil Merchant, co-director of the Lymphoma Program at Cedars-Sinai and co-senior author of the study, stated that their method of predicting how patients with Hodgkin lymphoma will respond to treatment outperformed the most advanced current method. Moreover, this study is one of the first to show that spatial profiling can be adapted for a clinical setting, potentially benefiting patients across various cancer types.
Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer that affects the lymphatic system, is commonly treated with a stem cell transplant. However, using the newly developed test by Cedars-Sinai, doctors can now identify a group of patients likely to remain disease-free after the transplant, potentially sparing them from additional therapy with dangerous side effects. The research team analyzed biopsies from 169 Hodgkin lymphoma patients and compared the cells and tissues surrounding tumors in patients who were cured versus those whose cancer returned. This analysis enabled them to predict patient responses to the transplant based on the distance between cancerous cells and other cell types.
The researchers are now exploring the creation of a test based on these findings and will also pursue projects to develop predictive tests for other types of cancer. These advancements in spatial biomarkers have the potential to revolutionize the treatment of cancer patients, bringing the promise of precision medicine to an increasing number of individuals. The study was supported by several grants from research institutions and foundations devoted to cancer research.
Overall, this study opens up new avenues for personalized cancer treatment and holds great promise for improving patient outcomes in the future.