Close up of researcher working with samples in a lab

Research projects

Maximising the effectiveness of a targeted therapy for non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Professor Adrian Bracken
Project period
Jan 2024 - Dec 2026
Research Institute
Trinity College Dublin
Cancer types
Award amount

Project aim

Professor Bracken is investigating how to stop non-Hodgkin lymphoma cells developing resistance to a new type of targeted cancer therapy.

Hope for the future

Targeted therapies can be really effective against cancer, and are revolutionising the way we treat the disease. But unfortunately, cancer cells can sometimes adapt to these treatments and become insensitive to them. This process is called treatment resistance.

EZH2 inhibitors are a type of targeted therapy that are currently used to treat some patients with a blood cancer called follicular lymphoma. This type of cancer affects white blood cells; it is a quite slow growing form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Professor Bracken and his team believe they may have found a new way to stop follicular lymphoma cells developing resistance to EZH2 inhibitors, and they will now use Curestarter funding to explore further. The team hope this work could ultimately lead to a new approach to slow or stop treatment resistance developing, and improve the lives of patients treated with EZH2 inhibitors.

This project is co-funded with the Irish Cancer Society.


Professor Adrian Bracken headshot

Meet the scientist

As a parent of two young girls, Adrian is pretty focussed on them when not at work! But when they’re asleep, he loves playing soccer, watching sport and watching TV shows.

The science

EZH2 inhibitors work by targeting a specific enzyme that is overactive in some types of cancer, and they can be very effective at reducing cancer growth. But over time the cancer cells begin to work around this treatment, and it becomes less effective.


Professor Bracken and his team have gathered some exciting new evidence which suggests that this resistance could be linked to two specific genes. The team will now investigate how changes to these genes could contribute to treatment resistance, and explore new approaches to treat follicular lymphoma cancer cells that have become resistant to EZH2 inhibitors.


The researchers believe that their work could ultimately lead to new ways to improve the effectiveness of EZH2 inhibitors, not only for patients with follicular lymphoma, but also for patients with other types of cancer too.

Professor Adrian Bracken headshot Professor Adrian Bracken
We’re excited to use this funding in the next 3 years to explore the ways that cancers develop resistance to cancer treatments. This funding is vital to allow us undertake this research. It wouldn’t be possible without the efforts of Curestarters.

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