Lymphoma is a clinical, morphological and biological group of very heterogeneous tumors of the lymphatic system.
More than 80 sub-types of lymphomas have been reported by the World Health Organization (WHO). The classification is based on the type of lymphoid cells (B or T) as well as on the phenotypic, molecular and cytogenetic characteristics of the tumor. About 80 % of the diagnosed lymphomas consist of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas (NHL), the remaining part consists of Hodgkin’s lymphomas (HL).
Lymphoma, first blood cancer
Altogether, lymphoma is the sixth most common cancer worldwide based on its incidence, with almost 110,000 and 83,000 new diagnosed cases every year in Europe and the US, respectively (2018 estimation figures: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society et ECIS). The incidence substantially rises at the age of 65 and has doubled in 30 years with 14,000 new cases each year in France (2015 figures).
Lymphoma is also the most spread blood disease in industrial countries. The disease represents more than 3 % of the diagnosed cancer cases. The number of people suffering from lymphoma is estimated at 2 million worldwide.
Despite the progress achieved through immunotherapy (combined with chemotherapy, up to 50 to 60 % of patients can be cured), lymphoma remains a devastating disease with significant unmet medical needs.
In 2015 (source Thomson Reuters Cortellis):
- 153 drugs were in development for NHL, of which 77 in late phase development,
- 14 drugs were in development for HL, 5 in late phase development.
Lymphoma is one of the oncology fields where most research on personalized medicines is being developed and the search for biological, genetic and imaging biomarkers is the most active, with a need for more and more specialized scientific resources and multidisciplinary teams.