A huge milestone for our fellow at BCRWA, Dr. Katharine Lewis who has won the American Society of Haematology (ASH) Abstract Achievement Award! She will be presenting her oral abstract at the ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition on December 11-14.
I’m very grateful to have led this important study, along with Chan Cheah, Tarec El Galaly and a large number of international collaborators – and it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to present the results at the ASH conference.
Certain patients with lymphoma have a high risk of having their lymphoma spread into the brain or spine (known as the central nervous system, or CNS), which can be devastating for patients and their families and there are limited effective treatments available if this occurs. A treatment called methotrexate is widely recommended to be given as part of lymphoma treatment, for patients at the highest risk of this complication, with the aim of preventing lymphoma spread into the CNS.
There have been several important research studies suggesting that methotrexate may not be as effective as we hoped at preventing this complication, but these studies have not been large enough to draw this conclusion definitively. We carried out this large study (involving 2300 patients) across Australia, Europe, North America and Asia, to investigate whether methotrexate is effective at preventing lymphoma spread into the CNS. In our study, methotrexate was not effective at preventing CNS lymphoma spread.
We anticipate that these results will impact lymphoma treatment around the world – and indeed in our own practice – that we will not need to give patients this additional treatment that requires hospital stays, has side effects and potential risks, and is not effective.
-Dr. Katherine Lewis