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Celgene, Dana-Farber, University of Arkansas Form Myeloma Genome Project

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Celgene, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) announced last week that they have partnered to create a broad collection of high-quality genomic and clinical data from multiple myeloma patients to improve disease diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment.

Called the Myeloma Genome Project, the effort will compile a broad set of molecular profiling data with associated clinical outcomes to develop a strategy for patient segmentation based on specific molecular classifications of multiple myeloma. It also aims develop clinically relevant tests for disease-associated genetic mutations.
"Understanding the various subgroups within multiple myeloma that exhibit distinct pathogenesis and clinical behavior is critical when looking to advance new therapies, particularly when considering a targeted approach," Celgene CSO Rob Hershberg said in a statement. "We look forward to the insights that this collaboration will provide for research and for patients."
The project has already begun to integrate data from the UAMS Myeloma Institute, the National Cancer Research Institute's Myeloma XI trial, Intergroupe Francophone du Myeloma/Dana-Farber Cancer, and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Initial characterization and preliminary analyses of these data has yielded a set of 2,161 patients from whom whole-exome sequencing, whole-genome sequencing, targeted panel sequencing, and expression data from RNA-sequencing and gene expression arrays were available.
"Pooling together multiple sets of high-quality genetic mutation data associated with clinical outcomes has provided a unique opportunity to develop a classification system at the molecular level to segment myeloma into therapeutically meaningful subgroups," Brian Walker, director of research for the UAMS Myeloma Institute, said in a statement.
According to Celgene, Dana-Farber, and UAMS, the project plans to expand to include additional collaborators from other institutions, and will present updates on its progress at scientific meetings and in peer-reviewed publications.