Cancer Center awarded multiple myeloma grant

Volume 4, Issue 4, 2015

Summary

SPORE funds will spur research on genetic causes and novel treatments.

Leif Bergsagel, M.D.

Leif Bergsagel, M.D.

A team of Mayo Clinic Cancer Center scientists has been awarded a Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant in multiple myeloma from the National Cancer Institute that will spur new discoveries about the origins of the disease and better treatment options.

The Mayo Clinic Cancer Center is one of only three cancer centers in the U.S. to receive a SPORE grant for multiple myeloma cancer research.

"With project leaders from Mayo campuses in Arizona, Rochester and Florida, our SPORE team will study the genetic basis for myeloma, develop novel viral and immunologic therapies, and optimize the use of existing therapies with a goal of controlling and eventually curing this deadly disease," said Leif Bergsagel, M.D., an oncologist at Mayo Clinic's campus in Arizona and lead investigator of the multiple myeloma study.

Renowned journalist and Mayo Clinic trustee Tom Brokaw will serve as a patient advocate to the SPORE. Brokaw will represent the interests of patients with multiple myeloma and increase awareness of and support for myeloma research.

Multiple myeloma is a cancer that affects more than 20,000 new patients every year in the United States. Although recent improvements in treatment have resulted in a more favorable outlook for patients, five-year survival rates remain low.