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Lymphoid Cancer Research

Department of Lymphoid Cancer Research at the British Columbia Cancer Research Centre

Founded in 2014 under the direction of Drs. Randy Gascoyne and Christian Steidl, Lymphoid Cancer Research (LCR) is a relatively young department at the BC Cancer Agency Research Centre. The foundation of the Department was developed over the past decade as a research lab in close association with the BC Cancer Agency’s Centre for Lymphoid Cancer — a globally recognized leader in lymphoma research.

The Department has two major research directions: the discovery and detailed description of molecular processes involved in lymphoma biology and disease progression, and its translation into clinical applications. Two major cornerstone programs for research and infrastructure in the Department are the Terry Fox Research Institute Program Project Grant examining the molecular correlates of lymphoma treatment failure, and a large scale project on personalized treatment of lymphoid cancer using British Columbia as a model province funded by Genome BC, Genome Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

In 2015, Department faculty authored or co-authored over 50 peer-reviewed publications, including highly cited papers in Nature, Blood, Journal of Clinical Oncology, and Lancet Oncology. This builds upon a history of recent research achievements, including:

  •     genomics-based discovery, drug development, and clinical trial design (e.g., EZH2 hotspot mutations, and trials of tazemetostat for non-Hodgkin lymphoma)
  •     biomarker development and implementation of routine diagnostic tests, which have been included in clinical trial designs (e.g., Lymph 2Cx gene expression profiling, and biomarker companion diagnostic collaboration in the Robust Trial in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma)
  •     shaping of acquired immune privilege as a central concept in lymphomagenesis
  •     genomic sequencing of more than 1,000 lymphoid cancers

Emerging research areas include genome biology, clonal evolution, immune, and tumour microenvironment biology, as well as translational biomarker research to identify novel disease and outcome related biomarkers to enhance precision medicine in lymphoma.

Lymphoid Cancer Research has established multiple technology platforms, including a NextSeq and MiSeq sequencing platform, nanoString digital gene expression profiling, and a FISH microscope setup for Tissue Microarray scanning. Principal Investigators in Lymphoid Cancer Research also hold multiple patents based on genomic discoveries and the development of molecular assays, of which some are licensed to industry partners.

The Vancouver-based Department also houses a tissue biobank and clinical database for the BioLym (Biology of Lymphoid Cancers) initiative. This tissue repository program has already involved more than 30,000 participants and provides significant support to lymphoid and other cancer related research.


Please see the department website for more information regarding the department.

Steidl Laboratory

Scott Laboratory