Assay for the Diagnosis of Primary Mediastinal B-cell Lymphoma (PMBCL)

License Opportunity for Assay for the Diagnosis of Primary Mediastinal B-cell Lymphoma

Primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL) is a non-Hodgkin lymphoma that accounts for 5-7% of all aggressive lymphomas. Diagnosing PMBCL can be challenging as the features overlap with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), another type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. These two lymphomas respond differently to treatment, creating a need for better diagnostic methods. The diagnostic uncertainty of PMBCL can result in delayed and/or inappropriate treatment, serious harm, or death. Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have developed an assay with superior prognostic ability over traditional histopathological diagnosis.

NCI is seeking collaborators or licensees for the gene expression-based assay they developed that comprises a set of 58 nucleic acid probes that measure the abundance of selected mRNA species using the Nanostring platform. This assay will be easy to integrate into the current clinical practice of cancer diagnosis as the assay can be performed using routinely available formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) biopsies.

This assay has a number of commercial applications, including:

  • Diagnosis of PMBCL.
  • Distinguishing PMBCL from DLBCL.
  • The invention could be used: 
    • in the near term as a clinical tool in the initial diagnostic evaluation of suspected PMBCL, which is required in the WHO guidelines for diagnosis of hematologic malignancies.
    • as an entry criterion for clinical trials in order to include those patients for which the efficacy of a given treatment likely depends on the molecular subtype of their disease.
  • Targeted therapies appropriate for each DLBCL subtype.


If you are interested in this opportunity, please check out the abstract to find more information.