National Cancer Institute-Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Study

In the National Cancer Institute-Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (NCI-SEER) lymphoma study, Dr. Cerhan's Lymphoma Epidemiology Lab is testing the hypothesis that genes with functional, common variant polymorphisms involved in immune function and regulation are associated with overall survival in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

For non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a compelling hypothesis is that survival may be related to the host immune status, which is in part influenced by functional polymorphisms in genes encoding cytokines and chemokines central to immune function and regulation. The role for host immunogenetic susceptibility in overall survival from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is largely unexplored.

To test this hypothesis, the Lymphoma Epidemiology Lab at Mayo Clinic has developed a prognostic cohort using patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma who participated in the NCI-SEER study.

Study goals

Dr. Cerhan's specific aims in the NCI-SEER survival study are to:

  • Evaluate the association of polymorphisms in select immune-related genes from four key pathways on survival of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that include genes encoding inflammatory and regulatory cytokines (IL-1A, IL-1B, IL-1RN, TNFα), Th1/Th2 cytokines (LTA, INFγ, IL-4, IL-4RA, IL-6, IL-10, IL-13), innate immunity (MPO, ICAM-1), and chemokines (IL-8, SDF-1, CCR2, CCR5)
  • Evaluate whether any effects are independent of other prognostic factors in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma — for example, age, stage, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status to evaluate how disease affects the patient's ability to function, extranodal site involvement, and serum lactate dehydrogenase — and treatment modality
  • Evaluate whether any effects are specific for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma or the combination of follicular and small lymphocytic lymphoma

The Lymphoma Epidemiology Lab abstracts treatment and other clinical and laboratory prognostic data from medical records. Researchers followed all patients by both passive and active means through mid-2006 — a minimum of 6.5 years — to identify all deaths, including cause of death and disease recurrences.

Although the study is no longer recruiting participants, data analysis is ongoing. Genotyping is conducted in conjunction with investigators at the National Cancer Institute.