Principal Investigator: Mr Subhayan Chattopadhyay
Department: German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
Lead Collaborator: Professor Richard Houlston, Institute of Cancer Research, UKTags: 50670, amyloidosis, GWAS, mgus, myeloma, prognostication, progression
Multiple myeloma (MM) is a cancer of blood where a specific white blood cell starts mimicking itself and create more and more clones with a high rate of proliferation. It disrupts the inner-workings of the blood serum, compromises immune system of the body and finally lets end-organ damage manifest in bone in the process, interfering with the process of red-blood cell generation it reeks havoc. It often spawns distant metastasis making it hard to treat. Patients with MM often experiences a severely deteriorating disease and fatal outcome. There are certain treatments of MM including chemotherapy, imuunomodulatory drugs and autologous stem cell transplantation which has rendered the treatment very effective but it still is a very much fatal condition. MM is always preceded by stage called monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) which almost 5-8% of people over the age of 60 have making it an ideal candidate for early detection of MM and prevention. On top, MGUS does not have any disease-like symptom and it is classified as non-cancerous. But, MGUS being asymptomatic, there is hardly anyway to discern if a person has it unless very specifically tested. Additionally, there’s no clinical parameter that helps in detecting cases that may or may not progress to MM. Incidentally MGUS can also progress to another fatal condition called immunoglobulin light chain amyloidosis which is also difficult to manage and total recovery is not possible.
Hence, over the following 18 months the proposed investigation will focus on querying inherited genetic data data to observe departure in genetic signals that distinguishes the conditions. Based on this genetic information, we will build a mathematical model to predict progression of one disease to the other such as that of MGUS to MM or to immunoglobulin light chain amyloidosis. If successful, The research will answer a long asked question, why all who have MGUS do not develop MM?
Given MM is a leading case of death due to hematological malignancies in western countries, a prevention strategy is well-sought after. The investigation thus will allude to such a strategy in two ways:
- Identify high risk individuals who are likely to develop MM
- Plan screening, intervention based on genetic profile of individual