DLBCL is the most common aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NJL), and accounts for approximately 40 percent of all B-cell malignancies. Roughly 20,000 new cases of DLBCL are diagnosed each year in the United States. Despite its prevalence, DLBCL remains difficult to diagnose and prognose. DLBCL has an extremely heterogeneous disease course, and while it exhibits high response rates with standard chemotherapy, durable remission is achieved in only approximately 60 percent of patients. The highest likelihood of relapse is within the first two years, therefore improved prognostication is required to identify those patients most likely to relapse.
Cancer Genetics, Inc. has developed a proprietary genomic test, MatBA®-DLBCL, that offers prognosis of DLBCL based on genomic copy number changes. The collaboration between Siddiqi, assistant professor of clinical pathology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, and CGI involves the further identification and evaluation of unique genomic copy number changes that can serve as additional prognostic markers in DLBCL. Genomic aberrations that significantly correlate with patient prognosis will be further analyzed and added to the panel of genomic aberrations that CGI has previously identified as having prognostic values in DLBCL. This collaboration will enhance the value of the proprietary MatBA®-DLBCL assay currently offered by CGI.
"Patients with aggressive B-cell lymphomas can have heterogeneous presentations, and it is often difficult to predict their responses to standard therapies," said Siddiqi. "We have an urgent clinical need for practical, robust assays that allow reproducible molecular subclassification and prognostic stratification of these diseases. Through this collaboration with CGI, we hope to evaluate the clinical utility of their genome-wide panel of aberrations in our cohort of DLBCL patients. In a broader sense, our studies may provide biological insights for this disease in diverse patient populations."
A number of gains have recently been made in the treatment of B-cell malignancies, including the July 23Food and Drug Administration approval of Gilead's Zydelig® for chronic lymphocytic leukemia, follicular lymphoma, and small lymphocytic lymphoma. There are currently more than 600 clinical trials in phases II and III investigating drugs for DLBCL and some 1,500 for B-cell malignancies. In addition to offering improved diagnosis and prognostic information for patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphomas and leukemias, CGI's proprietary tests allow biotech and biopharma customers to more efficiently stratify and monitor patients enrolled in these clinical trials.
Cancer Genetics, Inc. and Siddiqi recently completed another collaborative study on CD23+ diffuse nodal follicular lymphoma. Preliminary results of this study will be reported in an oral presentation in the 17th Meeting of the European Association for Hematopathology, to be held in Istanbul, October 17-22, 2014. Siddiqi has no financial ties to Cancer Genetics Inc.