Photograph showing test tubes in research for the Mayo Clinic Multiple Myeloma SPORE Expanding options in multiple myeloma care

SPORE investigators are gaining a better understanding of the genetic and biological mechanisms that drive the growth of multiple myeloma.


The Mayo Clinic Multiple Myeloma SPORE is a dynamic, productive, translational cancer research program whose goal is to support innovative, interactive, rigorous translational multiple myeloma research that leverages exceptional laboratory, translational and clinical expertise. The unifying theme of the SPORE is to conduct research exploring the translational implications of host factors and tumor biology, and their relationship with the tumor microenvironment.

We're applying our steadily improving genetic characterization of multiple myeloma to enable early detection of multiple myeloma requiring treatment, essentially developing a new genetic definition of the earliest form of malignant multiple myeloma requiring treatment, in contrast to a benign condition that does not require treatment.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, we're characterizing the genetic features that contribute to ultra-high-risk multiple myeloma, which does not benefit from current therapy. These studies are complemented by efforts aimed at identifying novel ways of modulating the host immune response using virotherapy and bispecific antibodies.

Our specific aims include:

  • Supporting translational research in multiple myeloma based on sound scientific rationale, which is the focus of our three major research projects. The first project is a continuation of previous research. The other two are new projects exploring new concepts that emerged from research supported by the SPORE during the past funding period. The projects address key areas of unmet need for multiple myeloma research, with plans to translate the findings to patients through new clinical trials.
    • Project 1: Optimizing a VSV Virotherapy-Based Regimen for Advanced Multiple Myeloma
    • Project 2: Multi-Omics of High-Risk Multiple Myeloma
    • Project 3: Early Detection and Prevention of Multiple Myeloma Progression
  • Enhancing the infrastructure behind translational myeloma research through support of three shared research core resources:
    • Administrative Core
    • Biospecimens and Clinical Database Core
    • Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Core
  • Supporting novel translational concepts in multiple myeloma research based on peer-review through the Developmental Research and Career Enhancement programs.


The Multiple Myeloma SPORE has been funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) since 2015, with a five-year, $11.5 million grant renewed in September 2021. The SPORE is part of the Hematologic Malignancies Program, a formal research program within Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center that conducts research about cancers of the blood and bone marrow. Learn more about the Hematologic Malignancies Program.

Principal investigator

The principal investigator for the Multiple Myeloma SPORE is Leif Bergsagel, M.D., an oncologist at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, and a professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.