Multiple myeloma is a rare form of cancer that affects the immune system in about 0.7% of Americans. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 26,850 new cases were expected to be diagnosed in 2015, and 11,240 deaths were expected to occur. Although there are treatments available to fight this cancer, patients frequently relapse, demonstrating the need for new treatments.
Researchers from the Center for Multiple Myeloma Nanotherapy at the Washington University School of Medicine were recently awarded $13.7 million from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to develop new treatments for this form of cancer.
Samuel Achilefu, PhD, from the Washington University School of Medicine Department explained, “Patients with multiple myeloma often respond well to initial treatment. Unfortunately, nearly all relapse. We’re focused on improving patient outcomes by developing and moving promising new therapies from the lab to the clinic.”
With the assistance of this NCI grant, researchers in the center will focus on creating new nanomaterials and drugs to treat the cancer. The Center for Multiple Myeloma Nanotherapy has three primary goals:
- Developing new drugs and delivery methods. Researchers in the center will work to create a new nanoparticle-based therapy that will target specific malignant cancer cells, enhancing the delivery of drugs and avoiding their degradation in the bloodstream.
- Developing a new therapy. Researchers wish to create a new therapy that will kill cancer cells by using radiopharmaceuticals to create a drug that will produce light within the tumor. This will stimulate photosensitizers that will be converted into toxic drugs.
- Understanding. Research in the center will help scientists gain a better understanding of the molecular basis of these drugs and therapies, as well as the progression of multiple myeloma.
Washington University is a top-ranked institution in terms of the amount of funding it receives annually and the research it produces. In the 2015 fiscal year, the university received more than $378 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Departments at the university that received substantial amounts of this funding include:
- Medicine/Internal Medicine - $84 million
- Genetics - $51.1 million
- Pathology - $31.4 million
- Neurology - $26.9 million
- Radiation Diagnostic/Oncology - $19.3 million
With all this funding, researchers at Washington university have the means to purchase new lab products that will help further their research and clinical trials. Biotechnology Calendar Inc. produces an annual BioResearch Product Faire™ Event at Washington University in St. Louis, which provides a great opportunity to market lab products to active life science researchers. This annual event brings active researchers together with scientific supply companies where the researchers can find the best and newest products and technologies.
The 17th Annual BioResearch Product Faire™ Event in St. Louis will be held on April 13, 2016, where more than 300 life scientists are expected to attend. Last year, researchers came from 25 different research buildings and 40 on-campus departments.
To learn more about participating in this popular event, visit the link below: