Cooperating genetic changes that drive MM development: the role of the SAMSN1 and GLIPR1 tumour suppressor genes
Multiple myeloma (MM) is the second most common type of blood cancer and unfortunately remains an incurable disease. We have identified two genes that are switched on in normal blood cells but are turned off in cancerous MM cells. This project seeks to determine whether one and/or both of these genes protect against the development of MM.
What we aim to achieve
We aim to determine how these two genes function, both separately and together, to protect cells from becoming cancerous. This could lead to the identification of novel therapeutic targets against which new, directed drugs for MM could be designed.
What are the next steps and milestones for your research?
In order to better understand how the loss of these two genes contributes to the occurrence of MM, we will generate mice that are missing one or both genes and then monitor them for disease development over time. In addition, we will investigate the effect of one and/or both of these genes in human MM cells.
What motivates you to pursue cancer research?
While our knowledge of the molecular basis of MM development has significantly improved, it is incomplete due to the complex and variable nature of the disease. Hence, I am motivated by the need to discover new factors that contribute to MM development. This will lead to the design of more tailored therapies, which will improve the outcomes for patients with MM.
My message to supporters:
Cancer, and MM in particular, is a very challenging problem due to the complexity of genetic factors involved. Identifying potentially causative genetics factors that contribute to MM development, demonstrating their role in disease, determining how they function and finally how they can be therapeutically targeted is a long and intensive process that requires a lot of dedicated and painstaking work. Consistent and continuous funding is crucial to retaining experienced researchers and ensuring breakthroughs are made as quickly as possible. We wish to thank the generous contributions of Cancer Council donors, which are enabling great steps forward in the fight against cancer.