Marginal Zone Lymphoma International Scientific Workshop

Impact on Research

Marginal Zone Lymphoma International Scientific Workshop

Marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) is a rare, indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) that comprises an estimated 7% of all mature NHL diagnoses and is the third most common NHL subtype. Marginal zone lymphomas are generally thought to originate from the marginal zone of B-cell follicles, which can be found in the spleen, lymph node, and mucosal lymphoid tissues. The rarity of these groups of disorders means that the medical oncologist will likely see a limited number of patients each year. In addition, the study of this population and the development of clinical trials is more challenging than in larger patient populations. The rarity of MZL and the small number of key opinion leaders pursuing the study of this lymphoma subtype and related clinical trials presented a serious challenge for scientists and patients.

The Lymphoma Research Foundation’s (LRF) scientific experts studied the situation and agreed that a platform through which they could discuss research findings and opportunities for future collaboration was a necessity. Such a platform could give rise to new research and the prioritization of these studies. LRF proposed to provide such a platform and invest in the development of a global MZL Scientific Workshop that would bring together the world’s leading MZL experts to discuss the latest research findings, foster collaboration within the MZL research community, and create a research agenda which in turn could prioritize MZL research and ultimately improve MZL diagnosis and treatment.

The inaugural International Scientific Workshop on Marginal Zone Lymphoma was convened in New York City in Spring 2019. Over the course of two days, the gathered international MZL experts discussed the current state of MZL treatment and research and highlighted new lines of inquiry intended to move the MZL field forward, in terms of both understanding the core biology of the disease and treating the disease most effectively. The need for greater collaboration and larger, pooled datasets emerged as a central theme, with widespread support from researchers on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as from representatives from the pharmaceutical industry. Topics including the biology and pathology of MZL, the epidemiology and natural history of MZL, MZL transformation, MZL assessment and response criteria, MZL treatment, and MZL clinical trials were discussed by the expert speaking faculty and attendees. The proceedings of the meeting will be published in Fall 2020 and an additional academic publication is expected in Fall 2020/Spring 2021.

Steering Committee

Morton Coleman, MD
Weill Cornell Medicine

Thomas M. Habermann, MD
Mayo Clinic, Rochester

Ming-Qing Du, MD, PhD
University of Cambridge

Eric D. Hsi, MD
Cleveland Clinic

Izidore Lossos, MD
University of Miami

Margaret Shipp, MD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Catherine Thieblemont, MD, PhD
Hôpital Saint-Louis
(Hôpitaux Universitaires Saint-louis, Laboisière, Fernand-Widal) 

Anas Younes, MD 

Emanuele Zucca, MD
Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland,
University of Bern and International Extranodal Lymphoma Study Group