The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation has just announced that their genomics initiative is the first to sequence myeloma genomes. According to the MMRF and Louise Perkins, the MMRF’s chief scientific officer, “Data from this landmark project, the Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative, will be used to identify key therapeutic targets for myeloma and will play an important role in developing better treatment options. What exactly does this mean for us myeloma patients? And how is this research similar too, or different, from Dr. Van Ness’ Bank On A Cure? Here is what the IMF has to say about Bank On A Cure:
Bank On A Cure® is the first global myeloma-specific DNA bank and research initiative. Building on the momentum created by the mapping of the human genome, Bank On A Cure scientists are poring over the vast bank of genetic information the IMF has gathered from myeloma patients worldwide to determine the genetic factors common to all of them. By discovering these patterns, we will be able to develop and tailor better treatment options, minimize the adverse side effects of medications, unlock the mysteries of what causes myeloma, and – ultimately – find a cure.
In 2006, Bank On A Cure delivered an extraordinary achievement: from a pool of over a half-million genetic variations that can affect cancer, our researchers targeted 3,400 genes that specifically influence myeloma. From there, they designed the prototype for a myeloma-specific gene-testing chip (called an SNP chip), the very first of its kind.
Now, every genetic sample from our vast DNA bank will run through Bank On A Cure’s specialized DNA testing machines with a copy of this uniquely developed SNP (pronounced “snip”) chip in order to search for patterns and combinations indicative of myeloma. This custom chip is the linchpin of all Bank On A Cure’s data collection and processing. Data analysis using the SNP chip has already produced results:
Analyzing patients’ drug metabolism and processing.
Studying myeloma medication’s debilitating side effects, such as deep vein thrombosis and neuropathy.
Addressing bone disease.
Bank On A Cure research was recently honored by the American Society of Hematology (ASH) Scientific Committee as part of 2007’s “Best of ASH” session.
I am in the process of contacting some of the staff and researchers to get a clearer picture about the similarities and differences between Bank On A Cure and the Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative. More tomorrow.
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat