Pentecost Family Myeloma Research Center

Moffitt Cancer Center is the largest multiple myeloma center in Florida and is world-renowned for its expertise in tackling this devastating form of cancer. Multiple myeloma is a hematologic malignancy of bone marrow resident plasma cells. Myeloma tumorigenesis is defined by both genetic transforming events and the growth and survival factors provided by the bone marrow microenvironment. Multiple Myelomas remain incurable for roughly 85% of patients today. This makes finding new treatments and curative intent management strategies for patients all the more important — and Moffitt is poised to be at the forefront of these discoveries.

The Pentecost Family
The Pentecost Family

The Pentecost Family Myeloma Research Center (PMRC) was created in 2021 with the Pentecost Family’s transformational gift and was built on the same core values as the institution itself — where multi-disciplinary teams use cutting-edge medicine to find the best treatments with rapid bench-to-bedside research. At Moffitt, we believe a cure for multiple myeloma is possible and within reach. To achieve this goal, a 10-year plan has been devised, featuring three main phases and four key areas of research and treatment.

PRECURSOR STATES

Understanding precursor conditions is a fundamental part of developing new strategies to determine when, and in which patients, therapeutic intervention is appropriate. We believe that Moffitt’s personalized approach — to an individual’s myeloma genetic makeup and biology — holds the key(s) to preventing and curing multiple myeloma.

RESPONSE ADAPTED THERAPY

Questions still exist about exactly how and why some patients become functionally cured while others do not. Moffitt’s clinical researchers are working to better understand the biology of these patients. This knowledge will play a crucial role in developing new therapeutic strategies that can functionally cure a larger percentage of patients.

CELLULAR IMMUNOTHERAPIES

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T therapy is changing the way the world approaches cancer treatment — and with an 85% response rate that often results in a complete response in patients with advanced multiple myeloma, its popularity and reputation are well earned. At Moffitt, we see more potential for these powerful T cell engaging therapies, especially when they are administered to patients earlier in their treatment plan, when they are healthier and have less burden of disease.

NOVEL DRUG DEVELOPMENT FOR RECURRENCE

Patients with relapsed multiple myeloma have limited therapeutic options. Simply put, there is an urgent need for more tools to fight this disease for patients who have failed multiple lines of therapy. New agent development has altered the treatment landscape and improved outcomes for patients around the world. Most of these therapeutics were developed from a better understanding of the biology of multiple myeloma and the immune system. A major goal of the Pentecost Family Research Center is to develop new and effective multiple myeloma therapies.

This center, led by Dr. Rachid Baz, director of Clinical Investigations, Dr. Ken Shain, director of Scientific Research, and Dr. Melissa Alsina, director of Education and Outreach, currently involves 23 faculty members from different departments at Moffitt, including: Malignant Hematology, BMT, Tumor Biology, Integrated Mathematical Oncology, Cancer Physiology, Hematopathology, Biostatistics & Bioinformatics, and Immunology. The group has an overall focus on translating discoveries made at Moffitt to transform care for myeloma patients, to develop new therapies and strategies for improving quality of life and, where feasible, to eradicate multiple myeloma. Investigators work towards these goals as integrated research teams, developing innovative ideas from the bench to the bedside.


Members: 
Daniel Abate Daga, PhD
Melissa Alsina, MD
Rachid Baz, MD
Brandon Blue, MD
Jason Brayer, MD, PhD
Omar Castaneda-Puglianini, MD
Dung-Tsa Chen, PhD
John Cleveland, PhD
Chris Cubitt, PhD
William S. Dalton, PhD, MD
Ciara Freemen, MD
Doris Hansen, MD
John Koomen, PhD
Nicholas James Lawrence, PhD
Hien Liu, MD
Fred Locke, MD
Conor Lynch, PhD
Taiga Nishihori, MD
Lionel Ochoa-Bayona, MD
Ariosto Silva, PhD