Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells – white blood cells that fight disease and infections.
Although patients are living longer than ever before thanks to medical advances, multiple myeloma remains an incurable disease.
A New BC Cancer Program For Multiple Myeloma
Clinician-scientist Dr. Florian Kuchenbauer aims to pioneer a world-leading multiple myeloma research program at BC Cancer so that treatments can be more effective for patients who need them most.
Dr. Kuchenbauer’s success in myeloma research depends upon sustainable, dedicated support from generous donors. Start-up funding is critical for assembling all necessary lab equipment and infrastructure, and the recruitment of a world-class team.
Philanthropic funding for early “proof-of-concept” scientific work is also crucial for eligibility to national funding bodies and applying for government grants to sustain subsequent investigations on a much larger scale.
Advancing Treatment For Multiple Myeloma
Dr. Kuchenbauer’s work at BC Cancer will look at three key treatment areas:
- Activating the Immune System:
BC Cancer is currently preparing to launch immunotherapy clinical trials that will supercharge patients’ immune systems to eradicate their cancer. This innovative approach has been successfully applied in leukemias and initial results in multiple myeloma show great promise for achieving lasting remissions. Dr. Kuchenbauer will work to make this treatment option available for multiple myeloma patients.
- Studying Cancer’s Metabolism:
Tumour cells require high energy levels to survive. New drugs being tested in early clinical trials aim to shut down the energy producing organs of cells. Dr. Kuchenbauer’s team will explore how this strategy can be combined with established therapies for multiple myeloma.
- Preventing Relapse:
Multiple myeloma can relapse because some cells hide in the bone marrow, protected from the effects of chemotherapy. Dr. Kuchenbauer’s team will explore strategies to mobilize myeloma cells from within the bone marrow so they can be targeted with chemotherapy, thereby preventing relapse.
Building A Solid Foundation
In order to develop these treatment areas, Dr. Kuchenbauer and his team will need to build a strong foundation to conduct their research. They will:
- establish a biobank at BC Cancer, containing genetically characterized bone marrow/blood samples from patients – these samples are essential to long-term research success;
- create a modern database to follow the treatment journey of each patient in the hope that this data will yield valuable insights to inform future treatments; and develop sophisticated disease models that will allow them to better understand multiple myeloma and build a platform for testing new drugs.
Bringing New Treatments To Patients
In order to help patients, new treatment options developed and studied in the lab must be delivered quickly to the clinic. Dr. Kuchenbauer and his team will launch clinical trials with a coordinated, efficient approach to enrollment that will give more choices to patients facing multiple myeloma.
With Your Help, BC Can Revolutionize Multiple Myeloma Treatment
With your help, building multiple myeloma research capacity and scientific leadership will ensure a rapid transition from knowledge to practice and will bring the hope of new, more effective treatment options to people living with the disease.