Celeste Bello, MD, hematologist/oncologist, Moffitt Cancer Center, discusses investigational biomarkers in follicular lymphoma.
There has not been as much progress in developing biomarkers in follicular lymphoma as in other cancers, explains Bello. This may be due, in part, to a lower sense of urgency as patients with follicular lymphoma live a long time. Data have however been presented on a new molecular prognostic model known as m7-FLIPI. The model accounts for a patient’s FLIPI score as well as the mutational status of 7 different genes. Data showed that the model could predict poor response to chemotherapy and short survival, says Bello. However, the means of testing for those markers is experimental, so it is not available for routine lab work.
Bello explains that this is a timely development as oncology as a whole is headed toward precision medicine, which includes the use of molecular profiling. Physicians know that follicular lymphoma is a heterogeneous disease, so the use of molecular profiling will be an important aspect of care.