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Update on the InterLymph Consortium

March 2013 - Linkage Newsletter

by Annelie M. Landgren, M.P.H.

The 11th Annual Meeting of the International Lymphoma Epidemiology Consortium (InterLymph) was held in summer 2012 in Bethesda, Maryland, in conjunction with the International Multiple Myeloma Consortium meeting. DCEG investigators Martha S. Linet, M.D., M.P.H., Chief of the Radiation Epidemiology Branch (REB), and Lindsay M. Morton, Ph.D. (REB), hosted the meetings in collaboration with the InterLymph Coordinating Committee. The NCI Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences and the Lymphoma Coalition provided additional support. Meeting participants included 80 researchers from 11 countries in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Australia.

InterLymph participants
To date, InterLymph has published more than a dozen pooled analyses, achieving seminal advances in our understanding of the environmental, genetic, lifestyle, infectious, and immunological risk factors for lymphoma. The consortium’s most recent publications include studies of genetic risk factors for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and Hodgkin lymphoma and a study of hormonal and reproductive risk factors for NHL. Researchers are now focused on two initiatives: the InterLymph NHL Subtypes Project and an InterLymph genome-wide association study (GWAS) of NHL.

The InterLymph NHL Subtypes Project is led by Dr. Linet, Dr. Morton, and Joshua Sampson, Ph.D., Biostatistics Branch, in collaboration with researchers at the Mayo Clinic and the University of Nebraska. The project pools data from 20 studies, including more than 17,500 cases, of NHL and will enable researchers to comprehensively investigate the environmental, occupational, medical history, family history, and lifestyle risk factors for 11 NHL subtypes. The researchers aim to publish their findings in a series of papers in a special issue of a journal. During the meeting, investigators reviewed preliminary results and planned for the completion of the project during 2013.

The second initiative, the InterLymph NHL GWAS, is led by Sonja I. Berndt, Pharm.D., Ph.D., Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch (OEEB); Stephen J. Chanock, M.D., Chief of the Laboratory of Translational Genomics and Director of the Cancer Genomics Research Laboratory (CGR); and Nathaniel Rothman, M.D., M.P.H., M.H.S. (OEEB). The initiative pools biospecimens from nearly 10,000 patients with NHL from case-control and cohort studies to identify genetic variants that contribute to the etiology of the disease. During the meeting, investigators presented preliminary results of genotyping conducted at CGR and discussed completion of the initial analyses, which will be conducted at NCI under the direction of the NHL GWAS Analysis Working Group. Upon completion of the first phase, the group will transfer the full genotype data set to the InterLymph Data Coordinating Center at the Mayo Clinic, which will coordinate additional etiologic analyses, including survival analyses and pathway-based, gene-gene, and gene-environment interaction analyses.

Other working group presentations focused on ongoing studies of the NHL risk associated with occupational history and receipt of blood transfusions as well as projects exploring the interaction between environmental factors and genetic predisposition. In addition, a new working group, Lymphoid Cancer Families, was established to identify genetic differences and similarities in families in which two or more members had Hodgkin lymphoma, NHL, lymphoid leukemia, or multiple myeloma.

The next InterLymph meeting, to be held in Dijon, France, in June 2013, will be hosted by Dr. Marc Maynadié of the University of Burgundy.

Back to the March 2013 issue of Linkage