Canadian cancer researchers discover root cause of Multiple Myeloma disease (and relapse)

As someone living with Multiple Myeloma (an incurable blood cancer) and currently on my 4th chemo treatment (Velcade), more about I like to keep up-to-date on Multiple Myeloma research as I’m hopeful for a cure one day.

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Today I read about Multiple Myeloma research at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, more about University Health Network.

According to the Princess Margaret press release:

Clinical researchers at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre have discovered why multiple myeloma, side effects an incurable cancer of the bone marrow, persistently escapes cure by an initially effective treatment that can keep the disease at bay for up to several years.

The reason, explains research published online today in Cancer Cell, is intrinsic resistance found in immature progenitor cells that are the root cause of the disease – and relapse – says principal investigator Dr. Rodger Tiedemann, a hematologist specializing in multiple myeloma and lymphoma at the Princess Margaret, University Health Network (UHN). Dr. Tiedemann is also an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto.

The research demonstrates that the progenitor cells are untouched by mainstay therapy that uses a proteasome inhibitor drug (“Velcade”) to kill the plasma cells that make up most of the tumour. The progenitor cells then proliferate and mature to reboot the disease process, even in patients who appeared to be in complete remission.

You can read the research in Cancer Cell here.

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According to Dr. Tiedemann:

If you think of multiple myeloma as a weed, then proteasome inhibitors such as Velcade are like a persnickety goat that eats the mature foliage above ground, producing a remission, but doesn’t eat the roots, so that one day the weed returns.

I’m excited to keep my eye on this research, and I’m staying optimistic for positive progress.

About tyfn

From December 2019 I've been on Darzalex (daratumumab) IV chemo with Velcade (Bortezomib) injection chemo + dexamethasone. Have Multiple Myeloma + anemia, a rare incurable cancer of the immune system. Life goal: To spread awareness about Multiple Myeloma through my self-portraits. UBC MSc Grad.
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