The goal of this research study is to assess the safety of vaccinating patients with B-cell lymphoma against a substance called CD20. CD20 is a protein found on the surface of a particular type of blood cells called B cells. Most lymphoma cells, just like normal B cells, have CD20 on their surfaces.
One way to vaccinate against CD20 is to inject patients with a fragment of DNA that contains the gene for the CD20 protein. To be able to stimulate the body to react against CD20, however, the DNA that is being given contains a short part of the mouse CD20 gene and makes a short altered form of CD20. In this way, the body will not recognize the altered CD20 as its own and will try to reject it. This process is known as an immune response.
Researchers would like to determine if they can safely vaccinate patients with lymphoma with CD20 DNA. They also want to see how many patients develop immunity (becoming capable of attacking CD20) and determine whether this vaccination eliminates cancer cells.