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Highlights from day one of the 5th International Workshop

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Published: 26.10.11
Views: 4190

Prof Gareth Morgan (Chair) - Institute of Cancer Research, Sutton, UK; Prof Keith Stewart - Mayo Clinic, Arizona, USA; Prof Kenneth Anderson - Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Boston, MA

Profs Keith Stewart, Kenneth Anderson and Gareth Morgan discuss the key pharmacogenetics and novel therapies research presented at the 13th International Myeloma Workshop.

Recent research has revealed how clonal heterogeneity evolves both over the course of myeloma illness and in response to therapy. Profs Steward and Anderson discuss why this occurs and how clinicians are working to address it. Our understanding of this clonal heterogeneity has revealed that any one disease will consist of multiple clones which are each under selective pressures from the therapeutic agents being used. This suggests that myeloma will never be successfully eradicated without a variety of therapeutic agents each targeting multiple clones simultaneously.

Profs Steward and Anderson outline some of the most exciting new agents and treatment approaches presented, including promising research into the use of bromodomains to downregulate the cMyc gene, which is known to be central to myeloma pathogenesis, and trials investigating the 4;14 translocation.

The research presented at this meeting has reaffirmed the importance of genetic profiling patients undergoing trials of new therapies and has shown that although it is thought that a cure is not far away for some sub-groups of myeloma patients, it is essential for both academia and industry to continue to work closely together to improve the outlook for other patients.

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