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MMRF Funded Grants

As the leading funder of multiple myeloma research, the MMRF has supported more than 325 research grants at over 125 institutions worldwide. The MMRF supports innovative research efforts in the most promising areas of multiple myeloma research through several grant-making programs. Please use the filtering options on the left side of this page to sort through the past MMRF grants shown below.

Please note that grant information for 1997-2005 has not yet been uploaded; thank you for your patience as we work to include this information.

Targeting the unfolded protein response for cancer therapy
Year Awarded: 2010 Type of Grant: Senior Research Awards
Location: United States Institution: Stanford University
Amount: $200,000 Investigator: Albert Koong
Increased activation of a key signaling pathway called IRE1-XBP1 is a hallmark of multiple myeloma. These tumor cells depend upon this pathway in order to survive and proliferate. We have completed a robotic, high-throughput screen of >120,000 compounds and have identified a family of compounds (termed Irestatins) that can specifically block this pathway. Moreover, we have shown that these compounds can specifically kill multiple myeloma cells freshly isolated from patients using an ex vivo culture model. This grant will allow us to perform the necessary preclinical studies to advance this class of drugs into the clinic.

Development of therapeutic inhibitors for treatment of Multiple Myeloma.
Year Awarded: 2010 Type of Grant: Senior Research Awards
Location: International Institution: The Hospital for Sick Children
Amount: $200,000 Investigator: Chaim Roifman
We have considerable experience in developing inhibitors of signals within cells for use as drugs, previously identifying compounds effective against Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemias. We have now identified two novel compounds that block myeloma growth in culture and in preliminary work we have also been able to block myeloma growth in mice with these compounds. Having identified these highly effective inducers of myeloma cell death, we now intend to determine how they are able to cause myeloma cell death and whether they are suitable candidates for consideration for use in therapeutic treatment of myeloma.

Whole Transcriptome RNA Sequencing of Multiple Myeloma Tumors Using Next Generation Sequencing Technologies
Year Awarded: 2010 Type of Grant: Genomics
Location: United States Institution: Tgen
Amount: $672,000 Investigator: John Carpten

Screening for Small Molecule Inhibitors of MM within its Microenvironment
Year Awarded: 2009 Type of Grant: Research Fellow Awards
Location: United States Institution: Massachusetts General Hospital (The General Hospital Corp.)
Amount: $75,000 Investigator: Shrikanta Chattopadhyay
The bone marrow microenvironment provides a survival ��_��__niche��_��__ for multiple myeloma cells that allows them to proliferate and evade cell-death induced by corticosteroids and other chemotherapeutic agents. Successful anti-myeloma agents have targets both within myeloma cells and in their microenvironment. We propose performing a high throughput image based phenotypic screen to identify and characterize other inhibitors of multiple myeloma growth within its microenvironment using physiologically relevant in vitro co-culture assays and a library of 25000 small molecules. The goal is to develop small molecule probes and drug candidates to enhance the understanding of myeloma-microenvironment interactions.

Heparanase inhibitor as anti-metastatic therapy for myeloma
Year Awarded: 2009 Type of Grant: Research Fellow Awards
Location: United States Institution: The University of Alabama at Birmingham
Amount: $75,000 Investigator: Vishnu Prakash Ramani
The major problem with multiple myeloma is that the tumor spreads throughout the body causing severe pain and destruction of bone. To effectively treat myeloma we need to inhibit the spread of tumor cells and their subsequent growth. Our lab has discovered that a molecule called heparanase promotes the aggressive spread of myeloma. We are now testing a novel anti-heparanase compound as a potential new therapy for blocking myeloma propagation. In this proposal, I will use this promising compound to block and treat the spread of myeloma. I will further establish the potential of this compound for treatment in clinic.

anti-KIR and lenalidomide enhances the NK cell vs multiple myeloma effect
Year Awarded: 2009 Type of Grant: Research Fellow Awards
Location: United States Institution: The Ohio State University Research Foundation
Amount: $75,000 Investigator: Don Benson
Natural Killer (NK) cells use Killer-Immunoglobulin-like Receptors (��_KIR��_) to recognize and kill multiple myeloma (MM) cells. However, as MM progresses, tumor cells learn to escape NK cell detection by ��_hiding��_ from KIR detection. We are developing a new KIR antibody that may restore NK cells��_ ability to kill MM tumor cells. Lenalidomide, also exerts anti-MM efficacy, in part, by enhancing NK cell function. The present work seeks to integrate our anti-KIR antibody with lenalidomide to augment NK cell function against MM and serve as a rationale to combine these therapies in a phase 2 clinical trial for patients with MM.

Radioimmunotherapy for Multiple Myeloma
Year Awarded: 2009 Type of Grant: Research Fellow Awards
Location: United States Institution: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Amount: $75,000 Investigator: Damian Green
Despite recent advances, patients diagnosed with multiple myeloma survive an average of only four to five years after diagnosis. No current treatment reliably offers the chance of cure. To improve outcomes, every diseased cell must be destroyed. Multiple myeloma cells can be killed with radiation. By attaching radioactive molecules to antibodies, we can target a radiation payload directly to the tumor cells. Known as radioimmunotherapy, this approach has been very successful in treating patients with other radiation sensitive cancers. This project will assess the effectiveness of delivering radioactive particles directly to multiple myeloma cells for the purpose of eradicating them.

Role of Osteoclasts in the Regulation of T-cell Immunity in Myeloma
Year Awarded: 2009 Type of Grant: Research Fellow Awards
Location: United States Institution: University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Amount: $75,000 Investigator: Haiyan Li
Multiple myeloma is a tumor involving bone destruction that is believed to be caused by increased formation and activity of bone-resorbing osteoclasts (OC). Our preliminary studies have shown that normal OCs can activate T cells, which are very important cells in anti-tumor immunity. In addition, myeloma-associated OCs were shown to have impaired ability to activate T cells. In this application, we will further examine T-cell responses activated by normal and myeloma-associated OCs. These studies will not only be important for understanding the relationship between bone and immune systems, but also valuable to provide strategies to augment protective anti-myeloma T-cell immunity.

Integrin regulation of Multiple Myeloma Trafficking
Year Awarded: 2009 Type of Grant: Senior Research Awards
Location: United States Institution: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Amount: $200,000 Investigator: Irene Ghobrial
Multiple Myeloma is characterized by widespread dissemination of tumor cells in the bone marrow indicating that these cells exit into the peripheral blood and enter into new bone marrow sites. The mechanisms by which myeloma cells migrate and adhere to the bone marrow are not well known. In this grant, we study the role of adhesion molecules and how they regulate metastasis. Since adhesion induces resistance to therapy, by using these specific adhesion inhibitors, we can make the cells less adherent to the bone marrow and more sensitive to therapy. These studies will lead to a rapid translation to clinical trials for patients with Multiple Myeloma.

In-vivo validation of novel anti myeloma therapies
Year Awarded: 2009 Type of Grant: Senior Research Awards
Location: United States Institution: Mayo Clinic Arizona
Amount: $200,000 Investigator: Marta Chesi
There are four broad classes of drugs approved for the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM): alkylating agents, glucocorticoids, Imids and proteasome inhibitors. Historically, the predictive power of pre-clinical evaluation of drugs in other classes has been limited, and a large number of agents that appeared promising in pre-clinical studies were subsequently found to have little to no activity in patients with MM. This proposal seeks to establish the utility of a faithful mouse model of MM in the pre-clinical evaluation of drugs in MM, which can help to establish their efficacy as single agents, and when used in combination with approved agents.

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