Redefining Lymphoma Characterization, Assessment, and Development of Protocols for Treatment

This Allen Distinguished Investigator Award supports the Botswana Lymphoma Research Project, an effort designed to address the high occurrence of lymphoma affecting AIDS patients in Botswana. Botswana has the second highest AIDS infection rate in the world, which has contributed to a marked increase in cancers including lymphoma. The project will provide the basic research that is necessary to better understand the disease and treatment options.

Researchers involved in this effort will use an existing tumor registry to assess data ranging from incidence, demographics, treatment patterns, and outcomes of lymphoma in Botswana, and obtain pathology specimens for additional research and analysis. They will also identify and further characterize patient tumor subtypes, and then administer develop protocols for treatment.

This work is leveraging strong relationships with the Ministry of Health, School of Medicine, the Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as partnerships with the Botswana Princess Marina Hospital, the Gaborone Private Hospital, the Nyangabwe Referral Hospital and the National Health Laboratory.

Affiliated Investigators

Bruce Chabner, Ph.D.

Massachusetts General Hospital

For the past 45 years Dr. Chabner has devoted himself to a career in cancer research and drug development.  He directed the Drug Development Program  and the clinical trials efforts of the National Cancer Institute, as Director of the Division of Cancer Treatment, for 14 years (1981-1995), and has designed, participated in, and reported clinical and pharmacological studies of new agents, including maytansine, folate analogues, paclitaxel, fludarabine, and Yondelis.  Seventeen years ago Dr. Chabner moved to Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology from 1995-2006 and  Clinical Director of the MGH Cancer Center from 1995-2010.  For the past 11 years he has had a leadership role in the Dana Farber Harvard Cancer Center, as Associate Director of Clinical Sciences from 2000-2011, and C-director of the Translational Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Program, 2000-present.  Dr. Chabner is currently the Director of Clinical Research at the MGH Cancer Center. He authored the standard textbook on the pharmacology of anticancer drugs (The Principles and Practice of Cancer Chemotherapy and Biotherapy) now in its 5th edition, and co-edited the standard medical textbook on pharmacology (Goodman and Gilman's Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics). Many of the drugs he has studied, most particularly fludarabine, cytosine arabinoside, and antifolates, remain standard agents, but his interests have turned toward the strategic and regulatory issues related to development of targeted drugs. Throughout his career he has remained active as a clinician, teacher, and mentor of academic physician-investigators in the cancer field.