* To seek a better prognosis for BL, based on clinical re-evaluation and reassessment of treatment, particularly for patients with non-responsive tumors, correlating patient data with molecular exploration of tumor tissue, and/or sera or whole blood analyses.
* To establish new assays for diagnosis, some of which will be designed for use on site in Malawi, and analyzing viral (and cellular) gene expression, correlating data with clinical information.
* To generate useful questionnaires regarding patient and family histories, as they may relate to onset of the disease, or the different individual clinical patterns observed, looking for possible genetic and/or environmental links to disease.
* To explore viral markers that may have bearing on treatment of disease, aimed at correlation with clinical behavior. To build up a profile of EBV gene expression alongside patients data.
* To train local personnel to help in management of the BL programme, both with regard to data collection, analysis, patient management and laboratory work.
* Data that lead to the re-evaluation of BL, and improved methodologies for correlating gene expression with patient prognosis.
* New assays relevant to diagnosis and treatment of BL, and an overall better understanding of this major childhood tumor in sub-Saharan Africa.
* Trained local personnel to work on BL projects in longer term.
* Distribution of findings to other African countries where BL is a major childhood tumor, and publication of data as a means of distributing information further afield.
* To establish an effective communications system among the partners, both with regard to exchange of data and of materials.
* To train local personnel with respect to sample and data collection and interpretation, also with regard to laboratory diagnoses.
* To set up serum, blood and tissue banks on patients, and suitable controls, for assaying with regard to EB viral (and cellular) gene expression.
* To re-evaluate treatment protocols, particularly with regard to patients with tumors that do not respond to conventional chemotherapy, hunting for patterns between EB viral gene expression and tumor response.
* To explore the establishment of BL in an animal model to provide continuing sources of tumor material for analyzing gene expression within a single tumor population; alternatively, using molecular approaches to generate gene expression libraries for evaluation.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
69364 Ecol Lyon
1081 HV Amsterdam