The Myeloma UK funded Research Programme at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) has made another important discovery about the genetics of myeloma. Researchers at the ICR have identified an inherited gene that increases the risk of developing myeloma by making the DNA more susceptible to damage. This may also have implications for other forms of cancer.
The research findings, led by Prof Richard Houlston, Professor of Molecular and Population Genetics at the ICR and Prof Gareth Morgan, Head of Molecular Haematology at the ICR and Head of the Myeloma Unit at The Royal Marsden, were published in the prestigious journal Nature Genetics on 17 March 2013.
The researchers found that some myeloma patients inherit a weak point in their DNA that appears to leave one of their chromosomes vulnerable to snapping. This can increase the risk of developing a sub-type of myeloma known to affect a fifth of patients.
This is just one of a number of significant discoveries to come out of the research being funded by Myeloma UK at the ICR which forms part of an integrated bench-to-bedside research model built to ensure these exciting discoveries are translated from the lab into the clinic quickly and efficiently.
Eric Low, Chief Executive at Myeloma UK said,
“We are very pleased that Myeloma UK funded research at the ICR has resulted in another important discovery and further cements our reputation as being at the forefront of genetic research and discoveries in myeloma.
“These findings have opened up new directions for research that will help understand how myeloma develops and help identify new targets for treatment. In the future, it may be possible to identify people most at risk of developing myeloma.
“Myeloma UK is already funding a follow-up project at the ICR to take these important discoveries to the next stage.”
Author of the Nature Genetics paper, Prof Gareth Morgan, said:
“This is a very important discovery, which opens out our understanding of cancer genetics and gives us new avenues for treatment and prevention. Now that we have found a genetic risk factor for a particular sub-type of myeloma, I’m hopeful we can design more targeted treatments for those patients.”
Source: Myeloma UK