The microenvironment architecture and ecosystem of Hodgkin lymphoma at single cell resolution

In cancer, healthy cells can play a huge role — not in keeping the disease in check, but in helping tumors grow. Cancer cells hijack many of our bodies’ natural processes to help themselves grow and spread and to evade detection by the immune system. Christian Steidl will study this phenomenon, also known as the tumor microenvironment, in patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma, a blood cancer that typically strikes adolescents and young adults. This lymphoma can often be successfully treated, but as many as 30 percent of patients relapse after treatment. Steidl and his team will study patients’ lymph node samples before and after cancer relapse, cell by cell, to better understand how the genes and proteins in cancer cells and healthy cells in their ecosystem change during the course of disease. What they find could inform better ways to diagnose Hodgkin lymphoma and better, more specific treatments for the disease.  

Affiliated Investigators

Christian Steidl, M.D.

BC Cancer Research Centre and the University of British Columbia

Christian Steidl is the Research Director of the Centre for Lymphoid Cancer, Associate Vice President Research at BC Cancer and Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of British Columbia. He has expertise in clinical malignant hematology, molecular pathology, genomics and lymphoma biology. Dr. Steidl’s translational research group focuses on the pathogenesis of B cell lymphomas, tumor microenvironment biology and applied genomics. He is most known for his discovery and characterization of novel gene mutations in Non-Hodgkin lymphomas and microenvironment-related biomarkers in Hodgkin lymphoma. Dr. Steidl is the lead investigator of a team grant on treatment failure in lymphoid cancers funded by the Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI), and project leader of a Genome Canada Large-Scale Applied Research Project to advance personalized treatments of lymphoid cancer patients. Dr. Steidl is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Lymphoma Research Foundation, Chair of the American Society of Hematology Scientific Committee on Lymphoid Neoplasia and Member of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee. In 2017, he was inducted as a member of the Royal Society of Canada, College for New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.