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Advancing CNS Lymphoma Treatment and Research
Posted: Apr 01, 2024
Advancing CNS Lymphoma Treatment and Research image

At UT Southwestern in Dallas, Texas, the focus on aggressive lymphomas encompasses both B-cell and T-cell types, where targeted drugs and cell therapy hold the promise for improved patient outcomes. Leading this effort, Dr. Praveen Ramakrishnan and his team are deeply involved in clinical trials, exploring innovative approaches to bring these therapies to the forefront of treatment. Dr. Ramakrishnan shared his research with HealthTree Foundation.

Central Nervous System Lymphoma

Lymphoma involving the central nervous system (CNS) occurs most often in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and other fast-growing non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL).

There are two types of CNS lymphoma: primary and secondary. Primary CNS lymphoma occurs when the lymphoma starts in the central nervous system. Secondary CNS lymphoma occurs when the cancer starts somewhere else in the body and spreads to the central nervous system.

People with CNS lymphoma typically have a poor prognosis due to the limited effectiveness of chemotherapy in crossing the blood-brain barrier. Lymphoma cells can survive within the central nervous system even when all other cancer cells elsewhere in the body have been killed off. This challenge can cause patients not to achieve remission or to relapse after treatment.

CNS Lymphoma Research

UT Southwestern has a unique initiative known as the CNS Lymphoma Task Force. This initiative aims to address the understudied nature of this subset of aggressive lymphomas and develop better treatment options.

One area of particular interest is the integration of cell therapies, immunotherapies, and targeted drugs into earlier stages of the disease and at the point of relapse. By shifting the focus toward upfront intervention, Dr. Ramakrishnan and his team aim to enhance efficacy and prolong the length of remission for patients facing aggressive lymphomas.  

UT Southwestern Collaborative Efforts

To tackle these complexities, UT Southwestern uses a multidisciplinary approach, using the expertise of neurosurgery, radiation oncology, neurooncology, and medical oncology. Through collaborative efforts, they aim to develop novel trials and diagnostic tools tailored to the intricacies of CNS lymphomas.  Centralizing expertise within a specialized center ensures that patients receive comprehensive and personalized care, optimizing their chances for successful management and improved outcomes.

To learn more about DLBCL from other lymphoma specialists, watch our modules from HealthTree University.

The author Kat Richardson

about the author
Kat Richardson

Kat is from Lehi, Utah and is the Health Education Manager for lymphoma. She has worked in healthcare for a decade now, and earned her degree in Community Health Education and Promotion. Kat is passionate about disease prevention as well as improving quality of life and health equity. She enjoys reading, hiking, baking, ice skating, gardening, time with her family and friends, and most of all, spoiling her nieces and nephew. 

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