Researcher Spotlight: Arushi Khurana, M.B.B.S
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
More than two-thirds of the newly diagnosed Diffuse
large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) patients are excluded from participating in clinical trials, without considering the structural and attitudinal barriers that preclude clinical trial participation. Over the last two decades, several clinical trials have attempted to add novel agents to R CHOP, but none have been successful due to the possible exclusion of high-risk DLBCL patients. Dr. Arushi
Khurana’s LRF research project is focused on identifying critical differences in the patient/disease characteristics and management strategies between the patients treated on clinical trials and those excluded from trials. “The goal of my research is to identify which of these patients can be rescued by modernizing trial criteria in ways that do not substantially increase toxicity in these patients,” she states.
Dr. Khurana is an Advanced Hematology fellow in the Clinical Cell Therapy/Lymphoma group at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester. She obtained her medical degree from Maulana Azad Medical College in New Delhi, India, and completed her residency at the University of Connecticut in Farmington, CT. Dr. Khurana’s interest in lymphoma stems from her personal experience witnessing her grandmother’s journey with DLBCL. “This has stayed with me throughout my training in internal medicine, hematology, and now lymphoma. It’s also why my research goals are focused on improving outcomes in lymphoma patients, especially those underrepresented in clinical trials and who are more vulnerable to the side effects of treatment,” says Dr. Khurana. “My current project originated in the clinic while attempting to enroll several patients on clinical trials in newly diagnosed DLBCL.”
In the next ten years, Dr. Khurana would like to be an established and independent clinical investigator. “I hope that with the knowledge gained from my research and time in this program, I would be able to design clinical trials which cater to those underrepresented in the trials,” she explains. “We have seen several strides in this direction from the Food and Drug Administration, American Society of Clinical Oncology, and Friends of Cancer Research, and I hope to be involved in these efforts in the future.”