Multiple myeloma is a hematologic malignancy of bone marrow resident plasma cells. Myeloma tumorigenesis is a defined by both genetic transforming events and the growth and survival factors provided by the bone marrow microenvironment. The nature of the disease has fostered a large-scale research effort characterizing myeloma biology and mechanisms of therapy resistance with the goal of the discovery and development of novel therapies to treat and overcome myeloma. To this end, the past decade has seen revolutionary changes in our ability to treat and manage myeloma with a more than doubling of overall survival in the majority of our patients. Within this global effort, Moffitt Cancer Center is an important focal point for clinical and translational research in multiple myeloma. Within the cancer center, a consortium facilitating clinical, translational and basic research at levels greater than the sum of its parts has been established: the Multiple Myeloma Working Group (MMWG). The MMWG is a collection of basic scientists, clinical investigators, clinicians/surgeons, integrative mathematicians, biostatisticians, bioinformaticians and pathologists with a research focus on multiple myeloma. This collection of individuals collaborates to integrate basic, translational and clinical research within Moffitt.
Consistent with the overarching mission of Moffitt – to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer – the goals of the myeloma working group revolve around defining these entities within multiple myeloma. More specifically, our objectives are to provide optimal care for current and future myeloma patients by fostering collaborative translational research from the bench to the bedside. This involves:
- research contributing the understanding of the biology of myeloma and the supporting bone marrow niche
- developing new agents (therapy) targeting myeloma and/or the supporting bone marrow niche
- initiating and enrolling newly diagnosed and relapsed myeloma patients on phase 1, 2, and 3 clinical trials
- utilizing the Moffitt Total Cancer Care® initiative to develop measures to personalize the care of our myeloma patients
We are indebted to over 300 new multiple myeloma patients seen annually at Moffitt, the more than 140 transplant patients, and the growing thousands of patients we continue to follow to carry out our clinical and translational research objectives. Their courage and desire to participate in clinical trials at Moffitt are greatly appreciated and continue to ensure that the MMWG remains a leader in translational and clinical myeloma research.
The MMWG includes both senior faculty and junior faculty with a focus on preclinical, translation, and clinical research in myeloma and other plasma cell dyscrasias. The group also includes members of the departments of Hematologic Pathology, Biostatistics, and Bioinformatics, and research staff, nurses and clinical research coordinators.
Melissa Alsina, MD
Rachid Baz, MD