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VA Partners with MMRF on Multiple Myeloma Project

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation said today that it will collaborate with the US Department of Veterans Affairs in a study of the molecular and genetic causes of multiple myeloma.

Under a cooperative research and development agreement, MMRF will partner with the VA on the CoMMPass (Relating Clinical Outcomes in Multiple Myeloma to Personal Assessment of Genetic Profile) study, an effort to follow 1,000 newly diagnosed patients over five years. The five-year survival rate for multiple myeloma is around 38 percent, one of the lowest of all cancers, MMRF said.

The aim of the study is to conduct genetic analysis of patients and tissue samples and then identify how these patients' molecular profiles may affect their clinical progression and their individual responses to treatments. The hope is that these data can be used to develop clinical trials for personalized treatments.

The data from CoMMPass will be placed in an open-access research portal that will be available for other researchers to use in their own multiple myeloma studies.

Two VA centers, one in Washington, DC, and one in East Orange, NJ, have already joined the nationwide network of clinical centers that will provide samples for the project, which includes a total of 50 centers, and over 200 patients who have been screened so far.

"There is tremendous promise and optimism that our combined efforts will result in vastly improved understandings of how multiple myeloma can be better managed, resulting in better outcomes for patients and their families," Shanti Srinivas, a principal investigator for the MMRF CoMMpass project at the VA New Jersey Health Care System, said in a statement.