The aim of our treatment at the Myeloma Program at Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center goes beyond trying to prolong life for people with myeloma. We want to find a cure.
The only way we can make further progress is by carefully conducting research to better understand why some myeloma cells thrive despite intensive treatment, causing the disease to come back.
Our studies have shown that there are different types of myeloma, some with excellent outcomes and some with poor outcomes.
The major factors discriminating between "good" and "bad" myeloma are hidden in the genes present in myeloma cells. Although we already know a lot about the genetic features of myeloma, we still need to learn more, especially about which genes cause myeloma cells to become so resistant to treatment. This will allow us to directly target those genes and eradicate them.
We focus on two types of research:
- The first is basic (or pre-clinical) research, which is done in a lab and helps us understand more about the nature of myeloma cells.
- The second is clinical research, also known as clinical trials or clinical protocols. Clinical trials are a critical part of the research process. They allow us to take scientific research that has proven to be effective in a lab during basic research and use it to treat patients. This often gives patients treatment options they would not otherwise have and allows researchers to evaluate results, which will benefit patients in the future.
We hope that patients will agree to participate in these studies, but remember that participation in research studies is completely voluntary. It is important for patients to communicate their preferences and fears so that the patient and medical team can work together to find the best possible treatment.