A researcher with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) received a National Cancer Institute grant for over $1.7 million to study ways bone therapy can possibly repair damaged bone and stop or delay relapse in myeloma patients. The study is led by assistant professor Jesus Delgada-Calle, PhD.
Multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells in the blood, results in the accumulation of cancer cells in the bone marrow leading to the formation of weak spots in the bone; fractures and breaks can follow.
UAMS researchers center this focus on bone health in myeloma patients as well as the potential effectiveness of bone therapies in order to block crucial interactions between cancer cells and the tumor’s microenvironment.
The team will focus on new ways to help the development of therapies that halt or stop myeloma and improve bone health. They will furthermore investigate bone repair of a neutralizing antibody against sclerostin, a small protein that inhibits the rebuilding of bone and is overproduced if myeloma cancer cells are present.
Principal investigator Delgado-Calle mentioned, “The goal is to slow tumor growth, control dormant cancer cells, repair bone damaged by the disease, and avoid some of the toxic effects of chemotherapy within the body’s systems.”
Delgado-Calle continued that the team would, “test whether a combination of those two bone-directed agents given together decreases tumor growth, prevents or delays relapse and encourages bone repair.”