European Research
Initiative of ALK-related

Leukaemia and lymphoma research (LLR).
Lymphoma antigens group

Group Leader:
Dr Karen Pulford

Nuffield Dept. clinical Laboratory Sciences
University of Oxford
Level 4, Academic Block
John Radcliffe Hospital
Oxford, Oxon., OX3 9DU, UK
44 (0)1865 220246

Cancer Research UK
Julian Starmer Smith Lymphoma Fund
National Institute for Health Research Oxford Biomedical Research Centre Programme
Sam Foye Fund

Description: The principal aims of our group are the identification and further characterisation of clinically relevant lymphoma-associated proteins. We have exploited the autoantibody response of the patient to identify more than 50 lymphoma-associated antigens, including a novel cancer testis antigen PASD1. Further characterisation of these molecules and the production of monoclonal antibodies will determine their potential as new disease markers or prognostic indicators and candidates for lymphoma immunotherapy.
The other major area of study includes the investigation of the immune responses to ALK in ALCL and PASD1 in a range of lymphomas and myeloma.

Collaborations: Prof Georges Delsol, Prof Laurence Lamant, Dr Suzanne Turner, Professor Alfred Reiter, Dr Christine Damm-Welk, Dr Wilhelm Woessmann, Prof Laurence Brugieres, Dr Veronique Minard-Colin

1- Pulford K, Lamant L, Morris SW, Butler LH, Wood KM, Stroud D, Delsol G, Mason DY. Detection of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) and nucleolar protein nucleophosmin (NPM)-ALK proteins in normal and neoplastic cells with the monoclonal antibody ALK1.
Blood 1997; 89:1394-404.
2- Pulford K, Falini B, Banham AH, Codrington D, Roberton H, Hatton C, Mason DY. Immune response to the ALK oncogenic tyrosine kinase in patients with anaplastic large-cell lymphoma.
Blood 2000; 96:1605-7.
3- Ait-Tahar K, Hatton CSR, Banham AH, and Pulford K. T- and B- cellresponse to the anaplastic lyphoma kinase (ALK) protein in patients with ALK-positive anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL).
Int J Cancer 2006; 118:688-95.
4- Ait-Tahar K, Barnardo MC, Pulford K. CD4 T-helper responses to the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) protein in patients with ALK-positive anaplastic large cell lymphoma.
Cancer Res 2007; 67:1898-901.
5- Ait-Tahar K, Liggins AP, Collins GP, Campbell A, Barnardo M, Lawrie C, et al. Cytolytic T-cell response to the PASD1 cancer testis antigen in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
Br J Haematol. 2009 ;146:396-407
6- Ait-Tahar K, Damm-Welk C, Burkhardt B, Zimmermann M, Klapper W, Reiter A, Pulford K, Woessmann W. Correlation of the autoantibody response to the ALK oncoantigen in pediatric anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive anaplastic large cell lymphoma with tumor dissemination and relapse risk.
Blood 2010; 115:3314-9.


Tools: Monoclonal antibodies to ALK and other lymphoma-associated antigens

Immunocytochemistry and immunofluorescence techniques
T-cell immune response assays and autoantibody assays to ALK

Other collaborations with groups working on ALCL:
European Intergroup Committee on Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphomas
Children’s Oncology Group