Wednesday 11 November 13:00

Professor Paul Murray, Health Research Institute & Bernal Institute, University of Limerick

The title of this webinar is:

New Insights into the Inflamed Microenvironment of B Cell Lymphomas

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ABSTRACT

A subset of classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) and diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) are driven by the oncogenic Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). These tumours are typical of so-called ‘inflamed lymphomas’ having an unusual histology characterised by a prominent inflammatory infiltrate. EBV-infected tumour cells secrete chemokines and other soluble factors that recruit and retain the immune cells creating a microenvironment that supports tumour cell survival and growth while at the same time contributing to their immune escape. CD4 T cells in the microenvironment of these lymphomas have a TH1-skewed phenotype that might be expected to enable an effective anti-tumour response. However, immune escape mechanisms subvert the effector functions of lymphoma-specific T cells to allow disease progression. This talk will give an overview of EBV-positive B cell lymphomas, discuss how the tumour cells subvert EBV-specific immunity and consider the roles of various innate immune cells in disease pathogenesis.

ABOUT THE PRESENTER

Paul Murray is Professor of Molecular Pathology in the Health Research Institute, University of Limerick having joined from the University of Birmingham at the beginning of 2019.

Paul obtained his PhD in 1996 working on the contribution of the Epstein-Barr virus to the pathogenesis of Hodgkin lymphoma with Professor Lawrence Young at the University of Birmingham. He was a Fulbright Fellow in the Ambinder lab’ at the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA before setting up his own laboratory in the Department of Pathology at the University of Birmingham in 2000. In 2007, he moved to the Institute of Cancer Studies, at the University of Birmingham, holding concurrent Cancer Research UK and Leukaemia Research Fund Programme grants as well as a number of project grants, including UK Medical Research Council awards. He has published 190 papers with an H-index of 64.

Research in the Murray Group is focused on the discovery of molecular pathways involved in the development and progression of aggressive cancers derived from mature lymphocytes (the lymphomas). These include the most common form of this disease, called diffuse large B cell lymphoma, a tumour recently defined as one of four haematological cancers with the highest unmet clinical need. Our objective is to better understand the pathogenesis of these malignancies and in doing so develop novel therapeutic approaches. For example, we are interested in the possibility that collagen within the tumour ‘microenvironment’ can cause the cancerous cells to spread around the body and to the central nervous system where they can have devastating consequences. We have already identified novel ways to block collagen and so potentially provide new treatments to cure patients at an earlier stage before the tumour spreads.