The Myeloma Crowd Research Initiative (MCRI) is a new approach to funding cancer research; combining the skill and knowledge of leading myeloma specialists with the patient perspective and supportive patient social communities to select and fund promising research projects in myeloma. We succeeded in raising $500,000 for two immunotherapy projects in our first MCRI campaign.
CAR T-CELL THERAPY TARGETING CS1 AND BCMA
DR. HERMANN EINSELE & DR. MICHAEL HUDECEK University of Würzburg
CAR T-Cells are a hot new area of research in blood cancers. This study takes a patient’s own white blood cells from a blood sample and engineers them to target specific receptors – CS1 and BMCA – common proteins found on the surface of myeloma cells. The T Cells are then given back to the patient after a two-week period. CAR T therapy is all at once a cell therapy, gene therapy and immunotherapy. This study will be applicable for high-risk patients who have failed standard myeloma therapies but will also be appropriate for normal risk patients regardless of genetic features.
T-CELL THERAPY WITH AUTOLOGOUS TRANSPLANT
DR. IVAN BORRELLO Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmell Comprehensive Cancer Center
Dr. Ivan Borrello is working to create a patient-specific immunotherapy using enhanced T cells from the patient’s own bone marrow, for truly personalized medicine. Using white blood cells from a bone marrow sample, he is able to expand the cells a hundred-fold in the presence of the tumor cells. After these T-Cells are expanded, they are given back to the patient on day 3 or 4 of autologous transplant. When they are reintroduced, they leverage the body’s natural process to further expand more immune fighter cells and they target hundreds of proteins that could be causing tumor growth for that patient, not just a single protein. This is an open clinical study today for patients with high-risk genetic features.