Primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL) is an aggressive type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that mostly occurs in people between the ages of 30-40. It accounts for 5-7% of all aggressive lymphomas. The diagnosis of PMBCL is challenging as the histological features of PMBCL overlap with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), another most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Available evidence suggests that PMBCL responds much more favorably to the DA-EPOCH-R chemotherapy regimen than to the standard R-CHOP regimen used to treat DLBCL. The diagnostic uncertainty of PMBCL can result in delayed and/or inappropriate treatment, serious harm, and even death of the patient, so there is a need to more precisely diagnose PMBCL.
Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have developed a gene expression-based assay comprising a set of 58 nucleic acid probes that measure the abundance of selected mRNA species using the Nanostring platform. This assay can be used successfully to better distinguish PMBCL from DLBCL and applied to further classify DLBCL into well-established cell-of-origin subtypes. This test can be applied by clinicians to support the pathological diagnosis of PMBCL, and therefore identify a group of patients whose tumors are characterized by a distinct underlying biology.
The NCI seeks licensees and/or co-development partners to develop this technology toward commercialization.