The Evolving Attack On Multiple Myeloma

December 7, 2014 01:36 AM EST

1.jpgA recent study published in Cancer Cell has uncovered genetic intricacies that will likely have strong implications for the development of new treatment regimens for multiple myeloma.

“What this new work shows us is that when we treat an individual patient with multiple myeloma, it’s possible that we’re not just looking at one disease, but at many,” explained study co-senior author Todd Golub. The study examined samples from the tumors of more than 200 multiple myeloma sufferers, and revealed many common genetic mutations previously linked to cancer. However, many of these mutations were located in just a small percentage of a patient’s cells.

The study lent insight into the difficulties of treating multiple myeloma, and also might help researchers understand why so many patients relapse after successful treatment. These findings suggest that targeted genetic therapies, currently in development for myeloma, may seek out some defects but leave behind others.

“There’s clearly potential for these drugs in some patients with multiple myeloma,” says study co-author Jens Lohr, “but we show that there are also potential problems for others.”

Read more about this study here.

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