Aim2. Immune profiling

Tumor evolution and successful response to treatment is modulated by the degree of immune escape and governed by tumor microenvironment. TAIFOL aims to immune profile FL patients from distinct clinical groups. In this study, we will use primary tumor samples, obtained from patients diagnosed of FL who have given written informed consent for sample utilization and clinical data collection.

The patients selected have been classified into four clinical groups, according to their clinical responses to therapy and the development of histological transformation to an aggressive lymphoma. In this analysis, we have selected patients homogeneously treated with chemo-immunotherapy at Hospital Clínic, followed by rituximab maintenance for 2 years. Therefore, we included patients who undergo an early or a late relapse (before or after 30 months of treatment, respectively), as well as patients who have suffered a histological transformation to DLBCL. Moreover, a group of low-risk patients who did not require initial treatment was included.

Tumor specimens contain both malignant B cells and non-malignant cells from the surrounding microenvironment, thus providing a general perspective of the tumor. From these samples, we will extract RNA, a molecule transcribed from DNA that reflects the genes under actual expression. By means of the Nanostring nCounterâ technology, we will semi-quantitatively determine the expression of immune-related genes.