Understanding the immune system in lupus and lymphoma

Disease - Lupus

Lead applicant - Dr Alexander Clarke

Organisation - University of Oxford

Type of grant - Special Strategic Award

Status of grant - Active

Amount of the original award -£144,490.70

Start date - 01 January 2020

Reference - 22557

Public Summary

What are the aims of this research?

This co-funded research with Cancer Research UK aims to further understand the immune system in lupus and lymphoma.

Why is this research important?

Lymphoma is a cancer that starts in the lymph glands or other organs within the lymphatic system, which is part of the body’s immune system. In most cases, lymphoma occurs when your body makes too many abnormal B cells, which are a type of immune cell. Lupus is an autoimmune condition, meaning immune cells can become overactive and attack the body’s healthy tissue and organs.

Researchers want to uncover if the changes within B cells of the lymphatic system play a role in the development of both lymphoma and of lupus. Specifically, researchers are looking at the ‘one carbon metabolism’, which refers to a series of chemical changes and pathways that occur within cells. They have found these types of changes to be increased in B cells in the lymphatic system, and therefore believe it may be a target for potential treatments in lupus and lymphoma.

How will the findings benefit patients?

It is hoped that this research project will generate new knowledge on the development of lymphomas, and therefore how this could be prevented. At the same time, the project also hopes to improve our understanding of how autoimmunity begins in lupus.