The BETER-REFLECT Biobank: a REsource For studies on Late Effects of Cancer Treatment
Due to the introduction of multi-agent chemotherapy and improved radiation techniques, Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) are now malignancies with high cure rates. While the number of long-term lymphoma survivors is increasing, their life expectancy is compromised by late complications of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which may emerge several decades after initial treatment. Especially second malignancies and cardiovascular diseases cause substantial excess morbidity and mortality.
Currently, knowledge about genetic susceptibility and early biomarkers for treatment-related adverse events is scarce, precluding identification of subgroups of patients at higher risk of specific treatment-related adverse events. Such knowledge would allow personalized treatment of future lymphoma patients, ultimately enabling prevention of adverse effects, as well as personalized screening for adverse events in survivors of lymphoma. Knowledge about biomarkers for treatment-related adverse events will benefit the screening program of lymphoma survivors, providing opportunities for earlier diagnosis and treatment of adverse events.
Therefore, in the ‘BETER-REFLECT’ project we will establish a national biobank with biospecimens of 5-year lymphoma survivors in order to facilitate research into:
- genetic susceptibility for treatment-related adverse events
- early biomarkers for adverse events
The study population consists of 5-year lymphoma survivors identified through the Dutch BETER project. The nationwide BETER consortium (Better care after (non-)Hodgkin lymphoma, Evaluation of long-term Treatment; Effects and screening Recommendations) aims to reduce the morbidity and mortality from late adverse events of treatment in lymphoma survivors. The consortium has established survivorship care for 5-year HL and DLBCL survivors, who were 15–60 years old at diagnosis. For BETER survivorship care eligible patients in 13 lymphoma treatment centers in the Netherlands are invited to participate in the BETER-REFLECT biobank project (n=3000). From participating survivors we will prospectively collect blood samples. Additionally, Formalin-Fixed Paraffin-Embedded tissue blocks of deceased individuals will be collected (n=1000). Blood samples and tissue blocks are collected to extract germline DNA to investigate genetic susceptibility; serum and plasma is collected to evaluate biomarkers for adverse events. So far, 700 samples have been collected.