Developing new tests to identify which individuals with smouldering myeloma are at risk of developing myeloma
Dr Melissa Cantley, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), Adelaide
Funding period: 2020-2022.
Multiple myeloma is a deadly blood cancer that is diagnosed in 140,000 people worldwide each year. It is preceded by a pre-cancerous condition, known as smouldering myeloma, in which patients do not have the debilitating bone disease and other symptoms that are characteristic of multiple myeloma.
We know that, every year, 1 in every 10 smouldering myeloma patients will develop multiple myeloma; however, at this time there are no diagnostic tests that can be used to identify those patients that are going to develop multiple myeloma.
Early detection of smouldering myeloma patients at high-risk of developing multiple myeloma, is critical to enable early treatment in order to maximize their chance of survival. We will use a state-of-the-art technique known as proteomics that allows us to identify protein markers in the blood that are uniquely present in high-risk smouldering myeloma patients.
We hope that these studies will enable us to develop new diagnostic tests to identify those high-risk patients to enable them to receive early treatment to improve their chance of survival.