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Targeting bone disease in myeloma

  • Researcher: Dr Carl Goodyear
  • Institution: University of Glasgow
  • Award Amount: £157,953 for 2 years from July 2013
  • Cancer Type: Myeloma
Targeting bone disease in myeloma
Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the blood, but as it progresses the blood cancer cells collect in the bone marrow, the spongy centre of bones like the spine, pelvis and ribs.  Here they release molecules that cause bone to be broken down, weakening it, causing pain and eventually the bone to fracture and collapse.  The damage caused by myeloma cells inside bones is known as myeloma bone disease and it is the most debilitating symptom of this type of cancer.  Almost all patients with myeloma get bone damage and all are put on treatments to try to contain it.Current treatments for myeloma bone disease can slow it down, but they cannot stop it. 

Dr Goodyear will use his Worldwide Cancer Research grant to investigate what he thinks could be a new way of preventing myeloma cells from causing bone damage.  His laboratory has discovered a type of antibody complex, called SIC, that is able to dock onto the surface of the bone-damaging cells and quench their activity.  He will test this potential new treatment in a mouse model of myeloma, and investigate whether it might also help stop the myeloma itself as well as control the bone damage.

If successful, this line of research might not only lead to a new treatment for myeloma, it could also be important for other cancers that often spread to the bone, like breast and prostate cancer.
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