Targeted Treatments Based on Genetics and Epigenetics

Through an understanding of the genetic characteristics of myeloma, we are investigating targeted treatment strategies aimed at switching off the genetic signals that lead to its development and progression.

Our goal is to exploit epigenetics – the biological mechanisms that switch genes on and off in a stem cell – and develop treatments that effectively modify the on-off mechanisms. Our work thus far includes:

  • Identifying specific cancer mutations and demonstrating that targeting these mutations can yield disease response
  • Characterizing mutations in the DNA coding sequence and using that information to fine-tune prognostic testing
  • Studying epigenetic patterns of molecular subtypes of myeloma
  • Developing targeted agents for molecular subtypes
  • Studying mutations at relapse to better understand resistance to treatment

Our next step is to investigate changes in non-coding sequences of DNA and subsequent subtle changes in gene expression that may be involved in initiation of cancerous activity in cells. Understanding how these mutations influence cell behavior will enable us to design more effective targeted treatments for improved patient outcomes.