News


March 23, 2018

Myeloma Institute Researcher to Help Launch, Develop Bone Disease Center at UAMS

March 22, 2018 | Niels Weinhold, Ph.D., will lead one of four projects in the Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grant of $11.3 million awarded to Professor Charles A. O’Brien, Ph.D., to establish and develop the Center for Musculoskeletal Disease Research at UAMS. The center will focus on the molecular and genetic analysis of musculoskeletal diseases and conditions that involve the skeleton as part of their disease process, such as multiple myeloma, in order to gain a better understanding of their underlying causes and to support the development of novel therapies. O’Brien, a professor in the Department of Internal Medicine-Endocrinology in the College of Medicine, will serve as the director and principal investigator of the center. He is an internationally recognized leader in the field of bone remodeling (the body’s continuous replacement of old bone tissue by new bone tissue) and the development of using mice to study human musculoskeletal disease. The COBRE grant of federal funds over five years comes from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The program’s goal is to create multidisciplinary, collaborative and synergistic research centers in 23 states and Puerto Rico where NIH funding has been historically low. Weinhold, an assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and director of genetics at the Myeloma Institute, is studying why some forms of myeloma (cancer that develops in the bone marrow) are more aggressive than others. Through his project, “Understanding the Negative Prognostic Impact of Intraosseous Focal Lesions in Multiple Myeloma,” Weinhold aims to provide insight into the likely outcome of the disease by studying the focal lesions and how they contribute to drug resistance and relapse. Focal lesions are tumors occurring in a defined area within the bone marrow. He will use that knowledge to develop more effective therapies to increase cure rates in myeloma. “It will allow us to study tumor cells in their microenvironment in focal lesions at the single-cell level,” Weinhold said of the funding. “Furthermore, we will have the opportunity to study the impact of lesion-specific mutations in animal models of multiple myeloma.” The funding allows a diverse group of people to work together as a team and produce science that is more than the sum of the parts, O’Brien said. The $11.3 million represents Phase 1 of the COBRE grant in direct and indirect costs. With approval, COBRE grants can be renewed for up to three phases, totaling up to $30 million in funding and support for numerous researchers who are early in their careers and have yet to secure independent research funding. “Dr. Weinhold’s project was a clear strength of our COBRE application,” said O’Brien. “He’s a genuinely innovative investigator and that’s a benefit not only for his project, but also for other members of the center. Our hope going forward is that interactions among these young investigators will lead to overall greater success in understanding diseases that affect the musculoskeletal system.” Cancer-induced bone disease has become an important area of research at the UAMS Myeloma Institute, where Maurizio Zangari, M.D., an internationally recognized expert in myeloma, specializes in myeloma bone disease. In addition to O’Brien’s grant, UAMS faculty lead five other COBRE centers at UAMS and the Arkansas Children’s Research Institute.

March 22, 2018 | Niels Weinhold, Ph.D., will lead one of four projects in the Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grant of $11.3 million awarded to Professor Charles A. O’Brien, Ph.D., to establish and develop the Center for Musculoskeletal Disease Research at UAMS. The center will focus on the molecular and genetic analysis of…


March 7, 2018

Myeloma Awareness Month

Little Rock Arkansas

Multiple myeloma is a cancer that begins in the plasma cells-a type of white blood cell that produces antibodies.  It is the second most commonly diagnosed blood cancer after non-Hodgkin lymphoma.  According to GLOBOCAN, nearly 230,000 people living with, or in remission from myeloma, and almost 103,000 new cases are diagnosed each year around the…


January 31, 2018

International Expert at UAMS Myeloma Institute Releases First Book on Castleman Disease

Frits van Rhee, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine and director of developmental and translational medicine at the Myeloma Institute at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), has changed that.

November 30, 2017

Multiple Myeloma: A Rare and Complex Cancer

We continue our series on multiple myeloma with an interview with Gareth J. Morgan, MD, FRCP, FRCPath, PhD, professor of hematology and director of the Myeloma Institute at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). Dr. Morgan also serves as deputy director of the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute at UAMS.


October 10, 2017

UAMS Study Identifies One Reason Myeloma Patients Respond Differently to Treatment

Niels Weinhold, Ph.D., (left) and Leo Rasche, M.D., researchers with the UAMS Myeloma Institute, leading a team in a study of 51 myeloma patients, have discovered patients respond differently to treatment because cancer cells can vary depending on their location. The team’s findings, which underscore the need to explore more than the standard biopsy site of the upper, outer edge of the pelvis, were recently published in an article in Nature Communications.

Oct. 10, 2017 | Researchers with the Myeloma Institute at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) have identified one reason myeloma patients respond differently to treatment — the cancer cells can vary in type and intensity depending on where in the bone marrow they are located. The team headed by Leo Rasche, M.D., and Niels Weinhold, Ph.D.,…


October 9, 2017

Myeloma Patient’s Loved Ones Roll ‘Ride for Research’ in Her Honor

Myeloma patient Carolyn Barber (center) with family members who participated in the Myeloma Institute’s “Ride for Research” in her honor: (from left) Bobby “Eddie” Bryan, Miranda Bryan, Renee Crawford, Pam Wilson, Hank Wilson, Casey Wilson and Sandra Bryan.

Oct. 6, 2017 | Carolyn Barber, of El Dorado, waited as six of her loved ones – ­two daughters, a son, two granddaughters and a great-grandson – each rode 10 miles in the recent UAMS Myeloma Institute’s inaugural Ride for Research across central Arkansas in honor of the 75-year-old’s battle against myeloma. “It was wonderful,” said…


October 5, 2017

UAMS Myeloma Institute Team Goes the Distance to Fight Cancer

The UAMS Myeloma Institute’s “Ride for Research” team participated in the Big Dam Bridge 100 on Sept. 23 to raise awareness of myeloma and $75,000 for research.

Oct. 5, 2017 | Ritchie Brown of Little Rock has had two stem-cell transplants since December 2016. But you certainly couldn’t tell it Sept. 23 as he rode his bicycle 50 miles to raise awareness of multiple myeloma, the cancer he has been fighting with the help of the UAMS Myeloma Institute. Brown, who is…


September 20, 2017

Conway Cyclist Joins UAMS Myeloma Institute Team to Honor Dad

Julie and Mark Ferguson of Conway

Sept. 20, 2017 | Julie Ferguson, 51, of Conway, plans to straddle her Trek bike and join 60 others Sept. 23 to ride in the UAMS Myeloma Institute’s Ride for Research. Held in conjunction with the Big Dam Bridge 100, the 60 patients, supporters, donors and employees are riding to raise awareness of the blood…


September 19, 2017

Myeloma Institute Hosts Patient Power Event on Rare Blood Diseases

Patient Power at UAMS

Sept. 18, 2017 | UAMS Myeloma Institute patients, caregivers and health professionals gathered Sept. 9 at UAMS for Patient Power, a free event offering information about myeloma and other blood-related diseases and the significance of genetic profiling, imaging and getting involved with developing research. “Living Well with Myeloma” drew a crowd of nearly 100, with…


September 11, 2017

Evolutionary biology of high-risk multiple myeloma

What is Myeloma?

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