Research publications

FLF’s Chief Medical Officer’s top highlights from American Society of Hematology (ASH) 2023 Annual Meeting

Mitchell Smith, M.D., PhD
Chief Medical Officer, FLF

February 2024

Dr Mitchell Smith. FLF CMO, shares his top highlights from ASH 2023 in San Diego including what to expect in the FL field in 2024.

He focuses on three interconnected themes:

1.Immunotherapy: How good is it? How to improve?

2.Can we make better CAR-Ts or better Bispecific antibodies?

  1. 3.Molecular testing of measurable minimal residual disease (MRD)

For a more detailed forward-looking view of what the future holds for FL research, take a look at Dr Smith’s recent report, “Follicular Lymphoma: Navigating the Pathways for Clinical and Translational Investigations” found below. 

Overall, Dr Smith cites ASH 2023 as exciting hearing about new advances leading to better treatment for patients, and research towards finding a cure for FL.

Mitchell Smith, M.D., PhD
Chief Medical Officer, FLF

December 2023

Dr Mitchell Smith, CMO at the FLF, shares his insights in what the future holds for follicular lymphoma research.

In his article, he outlines the key questions in follicular lymphoma, and lays out which areas of research look to be most promising in leading us to better treatments and ultimately a cure for patients living with FL.

Major underlying unmet needs will need to be addressed in order to make significant progress in the field. We need to better understand the underlying biology of FL, the biological and molecular mechanisms involved in cell growth, cell death and the tumour microenvironment, including the role that CPCs (Common Progenitor Cells) play. We need to improve how we detect and predict outcomes for the higher-risk groups of patients. We need to apply current therapies in novel combinations and optimise clinical trial methodologies.

With recent advances in immune system-engaging therapies and new technologies within clinical and exploratory phases, it is a truly exciting time to be in FL research. Whether it is looking at making therapies more effective and accessible for patients, or developing whole new classes of drugs, there are several avenues opening up in scientific and clinical development.

Considering the wide heterogeneity within and between patients, elucidating the role of the tumour microenvironment, epigenetics and other key biological mechanisms will be vital – and developing theragnostic biomarkers has the potential to transform the field as a whole.

Report with Milken: Clinical Developments in Follicular Lymphoma

Follicular Lymphoma Foundation in partnership with the Milken Institute

October 2023

The FLF has partnered with the Milken Institute to conduct an in-depth analysis of the FL treatment landscape. The goal is to inform future initiatives and programmes of research that will alleviate the burden on FL patients, bringing us one step closer to our mission to develop better treatments and cures in FL.

FL is a hugely heterogeneous disease, and so we will likely need multiple options in order to get the right treatment to the right patient at the right time. Many options exist currently, but without standardization across countries and health systems. Patients face a lack of clarity and multiple relapses lead to extended periods of uncertainty between treatments.

Follow the link below to learn more about the significant developments we have had in the past 5-10 years, and well as the long road we have yet to go in FL clinical development. Crucially, this report highlights the challenges that must be – and can be – addressed to accelerate development of successful therapies for FL patients, improving lives across the globe.

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