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The findings of a study published in the Blood Journal indicate that the presence According to recent research conducted by the Wellcome Sanger Institute, the largest and most in-depth study on Hodgkin lymphoma, new discoveries have emerged about the cancer cells’ survival mechanisms. The study revealed that the tumor cells rely on signals to lure specific immune cells and command them to refrain from attacking.

Concentration of particular clusters cells is an indication of chemotherapy failure

of high concentrations of certain cell clusters in previously collected samples can serve as a predictor of chemotherapy failure. This discovery could facilitate the transition to precision medicine by identifying patients who could potentially benefit from alternate immune-based therapies that have shown to be more effective in treating cases where conventional treatments have been unsuccessful.

Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system, which is an integral part of the human immune system that combats infections and eliminates abnormal cells. This type of cancer is characterized by the presence of Hodgkin/Reed-Sternberg cells, which are B lymphocytes that have become cancerous. Usually, B lymphocytes are responsible for producing antibodies to help fight infections.

Most importantly, Hodgkin lymphoma affects around 2,100 people in the UK each year. Though chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or a combination of both treatments works for most patients, some do not respond well. However, newer treatments like “immune checkpoint inhibitors,” including PD-1 blockers, have shown promising results for these patients.

Researchers analyzed genes expressed by cells

The new study used various techniques to investigate the immune microenvironment surrounding Hodgkin lymphoma tumors in detail. Researchers employed single-cell sequencing, spatial transcriptomic data, and microscope imaging to analyze genes expressed by cells and their location in relation to their neighbors. The analysis revealed the presence of clusters of immune cells around cancer cells, including monocytes, macrophages, and cDC2 dendritic cells, which expressed molecules that suppressed their anti-tumor capabilities. Researchers identified two distinct microenvironments surrounding cancer cells that provide insight into the effectiveness of conventional treatments. The presence of concentrated immune cell clusters indicates treatment failure, while high levels of stromal cells suggest successful treatment.