13 11 20

Information and support

  • Get informed
  • Get support
  • Cut my risk
  • Get involved
  • Research
  • Research home > Beat Cancer Project > Therapeutic targeting of cancer dissemination in multiple myeloma to prevent disease progression and relapse

    Therapeutic targeting of cancer dissemination in multiple myeloma to prevent disease progression and relapse

    Dr Kate VanDyke

    Multiple myeloma (MM) is an incurable haematological cancer that is responsible for an estimated 80,000 deaths each year, worldwide. Even with the best available current therapies, almost all MM patients eventually relapse, with only 15% of patients surviving 10 years from diagnosis. The development, progression and relapse of MM tumours is critically dependent on the ability of the MM plasma cells (PC) to disseminate to sites throughout the bone marrow (BM).

    In particular, previous studies have identified that those patients that have highly "metastatic" MM tumour cells at diagnosis do particularly poorly, leading to rapid disease progression, relapse after treatment and death. Identification of the factor(s) involved in the recirculation and dissemination process in MM is therefore key in the development of therapeutic strategies that will prevent overt relapse in these patients.

    My studies are aimed at investigating why some patients do very poorly, surviving less than 2 years, and identifying tailored treatments for this group of patients. Importantly, my work focuses on the repurposing of existing targeted therapies that have been trialled in other disease settings. This makes translation of the results of these studies to the clinic feasible in the short term, meaning that real improvements in survival outcomes should be rapid for these patients who traditionally have very poor outcomes.



  • Apply for funding

    Apply for funding

    Find out more about applications for funding.

  • Cancer statistics

    Cancer statistics

    Access the latest cancer statistics for South Australia

  • Clinical trials

    Clinical trials

    Access the list of current clinical trials taking place in South Australia.