Bi-allelic inactivation is more prevalent at relapse in multiple myeloma, identifying RB1 as an independent prognostic marker

A new publication in Blood Cancer Journal 24 February 2017, PMID: 28234347

Primary Authors: Shweta Chavan, Ph.D., and Brian Walker, Ph.D.

Targeted gene sequencing was conducted on 578 cases of plasma cell neoplasms, including monoclonal gammopathy of undermined significance (MGUS), smoldering myeloma and myeloma, in order to identify prognostic markers and treatment targets. A clinically certified, commercially available gene profiling panel, FoundationOneHeme – known as F1H – was used. The F1H test is aimed at identifying genetic abnormalities for which targeted treatments are available. Out of the 578 cases, 331, or 64 percent, were found to have potentially targetable alterations. The study also confirmed an important role for bi-allelic inactivation of key genes in myeloma at relapse and that loss of one of those genes, RB1, is an independent prognostic marker.

An allele is a variant form of a gene. Some genes have a variety of different forms, which are located at the same position, or genetic locus, on a chromosome. Humans are called diploid organisms because they have two alleles at each genetic locus, with one allele inherited from each parent.

The RB1 gene provides instructions for making a protein called pRB. This protein acts as a tumor suppressor, which means that it regulates cell growth and keeps cells from dividing too fast or in an uncontrolled way.

Extensive remineralization of large pelvic lytic lesions following total therapy treatment in patients with multiple myeloma

A new publication in Journal of Bone and Mineral Research

27 February 2017, PMID: 28240368

Primary Authors: Meera Mohan, M.D., and Maurizio Zangari, M.D.

Bone lesions — caused by the imbalances between bone formation and bone resorption — are a hallmark of multiple myeloma bone disease.  Patients with bone lesions of the pelvis are at increased risk for fracture and related complications and frequently require surgical intervention. After observing unexpected radiological improvement in a patient whose treatment included the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib, a retrospective analysis of 62 patients treated with combination therapy was conducted. Forty-three percent of the patients experienced remineralization of the pelvic lesions. The study showed that significant mineral deposition in large pelvic lesions can be re-established in a significant proportion of myeloma patients treated on one of the Myeloma Institute’s multi-agent regimens. These findings can impact future quality-of-life treatment strategies.

A proteasome inhibitor is a drug that blocks the action of proteasomes — large protein complexes that help destroy other cellular proteins when they are no longer needed.