As a member of Mayo Clinic's Myeloma, Amyloidosis, Dysproteinemia Group, Martha Q. Lacy, M.D., conducts research in developing new therapeutics for the treatment of plasma cell disorders.
Dr. Lacy's clinical research centers on immunotherapy, stem cell transplant and novel agents to optimize treatment for multiple myeloma, amyloidosis, Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia and monoclonal gammopathy. She performs clinical trials and collaborates with scientists on translational research to improve outcomes for patients with these disorders.
- Oncolytic viruses. Oncolytic virotherapy uses viruses to destroy cancer through a two-stage process. Stage 1 is the oncolytic stage, where the virus infects and directly kills the majority of the cancer cells. Stage 2 is the immune stage, where cancer cells that escaped infection during stage 1 are destroyed by the immune system. By attacking virus-infected cancer cells during stage 1, the immune system learns to better recognize uninfected cancer cells. Dr. Lacy collaborates with Stephen J. Russell, M.D., Ph.D., and other colleagues in Mayo Clinic's Department of Molecular Medicine to develop phase I clinical trials for new oncolytic viruses (genetically altered vesicular stomatitis and mumps) that target multiple myeloma cells.
- Immune monitoring. As new oncolytic viruses are in clinical trials, it is imperative to gain an understanding of the immune responses to the virus. An adjunct to the phase I oncolytic virus trials is the development of correlative studies that focus on understanding the antiviral immune response: how the body fights a viral infection, how the immune system recognizes and fights the cancer cells, and how the cancer cells are protected from the immune system.
- Novel agents and combinations. Dr. Lacy also develops clinical trials using a number of new agents and combinations of agents to treat myeloma amyloidosis.
Significance to patient care
The research findings of Dr. Lacy will lead to improved treatment for patients with multiple myeloma and amyloidosis and will enhance clinicians' and researchers' understanding of the interaction between cancer and the immune system.
- Editorial board, American Journal of Hematology, 2015-present
- David L. and Colleen B. Kessenich Professor of Multiple Myeloma, 2018
- Woman of the Year, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, 2015
- Editorial board, Leukemia, 2009-2015
- Editorial board, Blood Cancer Journal, 2010-2014
- Best of ASH session, American Society of Hematology (ASH), 2010