NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation has awarded a total of $2.25 million to three academic medical centers through its Proteomics Initiative, the foundation announced today.
Under the initiative, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Indiana University, and the University of Michigan will participate in a multi-year research project comparing plasma cells from healthy volunteer controls with those from multiple myeloma patients. Their goal is to use proteomic analysis to find biomarkers for multiple myeloma that explain the molecular basis of the disease, its onset and progression, and differences in treatment response between individuals.
The MMRF, a non-profit organization established in 1998, hopes that the initiative will eventually lead to the development of new multiple myeloma therapies. The disease is an incurable cancer of the plasma cell with one of the lowest five-year relative survival rates. Only about a third of those diagnosed with it survive. Nearly 20,000 Americans were diagnosed with multiple myeloma last year.
“One of our primary aims is to understand, at the molecular level, why chemotherapy treatment is not as effective for a relapsing patient as it was during initial treatment,” University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences researcher Rick Edmondson said in a statement. “Understanding the changes in protein expression could pave the way for more effective treatments at every stage of the disease.”
Data collected during the project will be shared between the collaborators, and any findings are expected to be published as jointly authored papers.