Multiple Myeloma -The Complexity Of The Disease

Multiple Myeloma -The Complexity Of The Disease 2016-11-04T17:45:17+00:00

About Multiple Myeloma (MM)

Multiple myeloma (MM) is a mostly incurable malignant disease of clonal plasma cells that accumulate in the bone marrow, leading to clinical signs and symptoms related to the displacement of normal hematopoiesis, development of bone disease, and production of monoclonal protein.

Treatment of MM consists of :

  • An induction phase with corticosteroid, proteasome inhibitor and immunomodulatory drug
  • A short term exposure to high dose of an alkylating agent
  • Autologous stem cell transplantation
  • Maintenance treatment (corticosteroid and immunomodulatory drug)

Cost of these myeloma treatments are among the highest in cancer : 80 to 100K€ / year / patient.
Patients invariably relapse after multiple lines of treatments. The overall survival of intensively-treated patients is of 6-7 years and the event-free survival of 3-4 years.

Epidemiology Informations :

Of blood cancer. The second most common hematologic malignancy after non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
of all cancer-related deaths in Western countries
News Cases/Year in the World. 25 000 new cases/year in United States (the same in Europe)

The complexity of the disease: functional studies are difficult in MM.

High heterogeneity:

Based on common gene expression signatures, 7 subgroups in newly diagnosed myeloma have been validated. Currently, Multiple myeloma is a genetically, clinically and intra-clonal heterogeneous disease

No Animal Models

No animal models representative of the human heterogeneity disease

Invasive and painful bone marrow biopsy

Few cells derived from bone marrow biopsy

No Proliferation / Survival of primary MM cells

The bone marrow microenvironment interaction is essential to proliferation and survival of primary MM cells