MMRC Genomics Initiative Presents Two Abstracts at American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) 2008 Annual Meeting

April 29, 2008

By hammersmith

[Source:] – The Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC), presented two abstracts during the 2008 Annual Meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research, including one that was selected for oral presentation, based on data from the MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative.

In an oral session, Daniel Auclair, PhD, manager of the Initiative for the MMRC, presented “Clues from the MMRC Genomics Initiative about the Multiple Myeloma Druggable Genome”. The clues emerge from a preliminary analysis of an initial set of 100 patient tissue samples using high-resolution array-based comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) and gene expression profiling (GEP) technologies. An analysis of these tissue samples, collected through the MMRC Tissue Bank, highlight novel genetic abnormalities and identify potential new druggable targets and pathways in multiple myeloma. This updated dataset is freely available to the scientific community through the Multiple Myeloma Genomics Portal, the world’s only myeloma-specific repository of genomic data.

In addition, details were provided about the multiple myeloma genome re-sequencing project planned to be performed in collaboration with the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard on 250 patient tumor samples and matched peripheral blood. The sequencing of all the genes expressed in myeloma tumor cells (~10,000 genes) will be done on state-of-the-art next generation single molecule sequencing instruments. These instruments represent the newest, most accurate and cost effective technology available today for genome re-sequencing.

“The expanded sequencing project is perfect in its timing. The project has the potential to yield specific findings for myeloma and help set the standard for cancer genome sequencing in other diseases,” said Todd R. Golub, MD, Director of the Cancer Program at the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, physician at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and co-Principal Investigator of the MMRC Genomics Initiative. ?Coupled with the breadth of the data from the entire Initiative, these sequencing results will play a pivotal role in identifying new targets and approaches for treating patients with myeloma.”

In a second presentation, “Validation of NF-kB pathway mutations in myeloma using data from the MMRC Genomics Initiative”, Angela Baker, PhD, Translational Genomics Research Institute, disclosed that by using data from the Initiative and by correlating changes in gene expression and DNA copy number, her group identified several genes involved in the NF-kB pathway in myeloma. The results of this study aid in the validation of previous findings on this pathway and may ultimately lead to new targets for the treatment of multiple myeloma.

“The Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative is critical in generating data that will help MMRC researchers make significant progress in identifying new therapeutic targets for more effective therapies,” states MMRF and MMRC Founder and CEO, Kathy Giusti, who is also a myeloma patient.