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Research on the behaviour and biology of a major African childhood malignancy, burkitt's lymphoma, and its associated virus, ebv

Objective

* 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.
Expected Outcome

* 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 Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

IMPERIAL COLLEGE OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND MEDICINE
Address
South Kensington Campus
London
United Kingdom

Participants (3)

Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale
France
Address
46,Allée D'italie 46
69364 Ecol Lyon
University of Malawi
Malawi
Address

3 Blantyre
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Netherlands
Address
1117,De Boelelaan 1117
1081 HV Amsterdam