SALT LAKE CITY, March 16, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For the first time in myeloma history, researchers across the US and the international community have joined with myeloma patients to discover and fund a solution for high-risk myeloma; a patient group with few options and dismal outcomes. The new Myeloma Crowd Research Initiative, driven by myeloma patients and joined by top researchers, just completed its first milestone with the receipt of 36 proposals from investigators worldwide with their solutions for this unmet need.
For Stage I of the MCRI, investigators from top research facilities globally submitted Letters of Intent including Mayo Clinic, Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Calgary, Winship Cancer Institute at Emory, Roswell Park, University of Iowa, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Johns Hopkins, Roehampton University (UK), Tufts Medical Center, University of Wuezburg (Germany), Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Keio University (Japan), Ohio State University, Dartmouth College, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, MD Anderson, Broad Institute/Dana Farber Cancer Institute/Massachusetts General Hospital, University of Arkansas Medical Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Nantes University (France), Clinica Universidad de Navarra (Spain), Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research Parkville (Australia), and National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece). Several biotech companies including Jasco Pharmaceuticals, Pepticom, and Imperium Biotechnologies jointly submitted collaborative proposals with investigators.
"We received a total of 36 high-quality, innovative proposals spanning the spectrum from basic to translational and also clinical studies. These came from US-based as well as international investigators, and were all deemed to be promising towards the goals of advancing the molecular understanding of high-risk myeloma, and developing novel therapeutic options," said Dr. Robert Orlowski.
The proposals are now in the hands of the Scientific Advisory Board which includes Dr. Rafael Fonseca, MD (Mayo Clinic Scottsdale), Dr. Irene Ghobrial, MD, PhD (Dana Farber Cancer Institute), Dr. Noopur Raje, MD, PhD (Massachusetts General Hospital), Dr. Robert Orlowski, MD, PhD (MD Anderson Cancer Center), Dr. Ola Landgren, MD, PhD (MSKCC), and Dr. Guido Tricot, MD, PhD (University of Iowa). This team is in the process of reviewing and scoring the Letters of Intent and will select a short list of the ten most promising projects that will move to further review.
"I was pleasantly surprised by the number and quality of the applications received for this type of myeloma," said Dr. Guido Tricot.
This first-time-ever open challenge to the world of myeloma investigators to find and fund the very best research will make a significant difference for patients who are desperate for effective therapies.
About High Risk Multiple Myeloma
While life expectancy has doubled in the past ten years with the introduction of new myeloma drugs, those with high-risk disease are still in dire straits and the disease as a whole is still incurable. Despite the new advances, the aggressive strains of myeloma do not react as effectively, leaving few options for high-risk patients. As myeloma progresses, it becomes more aggressive, many times acquiring new high-risk features as it matures.
Multiple myeloma expert Dr. Rafael Fonseca, MD of the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale said, "The study of high-risk myeloma should be one of the top priorities for myeloma researchers. New and radically different treatment approaches are needed."
About Myeloma Crowd/CrowdCare Foundation
The Myeloma Crowd is a division of the CrowdCare Foundation, a patient-driven 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We believe that patients can be part of the solution to find a cure for their rare diseases by supporting the research community. The Myeloma Crowd provides patient education, advocacy and now research funding for multiple myeloma. www.myelomacrowd.org
SOURCE Myeloma Crowd Research Initiative: CrowdCare Foundation