Digging deep into multiple myeloma
With insights gained from investigating the genetic events that lead to the development of multiple myeloma, we've generated a model of the disease that can help screen novel agents for anti-myeloma activity.
The Cancer Genetics Laboratory of Leif Bergsagel, M.D., is investigating the molecular pathogenesis of multiple myeloma, a cancer of bone marrow plasma cells.
Dr. Bergsagel's research team at Mayo Clinic is comparing the biology of malignant plasma cells to normal plasma cell differentiation. The sequence of developmental genetic rearrangements that characterize normal plasma cells contributes to the genetic complexity of multiple myeloma. To a large extent, the important biological factors that govern normal plasma cells also govern the malignant plasma cells in myeloma.
The Cancer Genetics Laboratory hopes to gain a better understanding of the biological significance of genetic mutations in people with multiple myeloma by using in vitro cell line models along with genetically engineered murine models in vivo.
Through several research projects led by Dr. Bergsagel, the Cancer Genetics Laboratory is investigating the development of multiple myeloma and related conditions, such as Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia and monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). The lab's research on oncogene activation, genetic mutations and gene-expression profiling is helping better characterize disease progression in multiple myeloma and other bone marrow and blood disorders, which ultimately could lead to better treatment options.
About Dr. Bergsagel
Dr. Bergsagel is a professor of medicine in the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science and an oncologist at Mayo Clinic's campus in Arizona. Dr. Bergsagel has a special research interest in understanding the molecular events that lead to the development of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) and its progression to multiple myeloma.
The Cancer Genetics Laboratory is affiliated with other Mayo Clinic research areas, including: