Dr. Namrata Singh, Clinical Assistant Professor of Immunology, has been awarded a $30,000 American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant via the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Singh’s year-long project, “Trending lymphoma incidence in US veterans with autoimmune disease 2002-2017,” will examine and compare temporal trends in VA data of lymphoma incidence in veterans with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and Sjogren’s syndrome (SS).
Both RA and SS are autoimmune diseases linked with the development of lymphoid neoplasms. Studies have found that the high inflammatory activity in RA, rather than its treatment, is a major risk determinant for lymphoma development. And although new therapies like biologics, especially tumor necrosis factor inhibitors, have improved several outcomes in individuals with RA, the treatments for SS have not advanced similarly. By better understanding the burden of lymphoma in autoimmune diseases and the trends in incident lymphoma over a 15-year period, Dr. Singh’s study should offer clues regarding the pathogenesis of lymphoma in these rheumatic diseases.