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From Medicineworld.org: New Multiple Myeloma Research Program

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New Multiple Myeloma Research Program


Three internationally recognized research specialists have joined Mayo Clinic in Arizona to lead the organization's multiple myeloma research and to expand Mayo's drug development program. They have expanded the clinical and research capabilities for multiple myeloma at Mayo Clinic, a long-standing area of expertise. Rafael Fonseca, M.D., Site Director for Hematologic Malignancies, moved from Mayo Clinic in Minnesota to create a new center for myeloma research and care in 2004. He now joins forces with Keith Stewart, M.B.Ch.B., from University of Toronto, and P. Leif Bergsagel, M.D., from Weill College of Medicine at Cornell University. Both Dr. Stewart and Dr. Bergsagel have joined the Department of Hematology/Oncology as Professor and Associate Professor of Medicine, respectively, and as Senior Associate Consultants.

The scientists have moved into a unified laboratory in the new Mayo Clinic Collaborative Research Building (MCCRB) located on Mayo's Scottsdale campus. In collaboration with colleagues at the Translational Genomics Research Institute, or TGen, they are focusing their research on myeloma, drug development and genomics.

The three clinician scientists are pioneers for the genetics of myeloma. Each brings a different component to the bench-to-bedside approach to the treatment of myeloma. Dr. Bergsagel has identified critical genetic changes in myeloma; he is internationally recognized for identifying genetic changes which cause myeloma. Dr. Fonseca is researching the clinical significance of these genetic changes and the implications on patient care. Dr. Stewart is identifying drugs to target the genes that Drs. Bergsagel and Fonseca found to be involved in the majority of cases.

"Myeloma is the second most common blood cancer to Lymphoma with 15,000 new cases a year," said Dr. Stewart. According to Stewart, even today treatment is characterized by a "one size fits all approach." The Mayo team seeks to change this through clinical trials which emphasize a personalized approach to care, for example the group is researching new drugs to "turn off" the various genes responsible for myeloma.

In June 2005, Mayo Clinic announced the dedication of the new biomedical scientific facility that joins Mayo Clinic and TGen in a unique strategic partnership. The MCCRB, a 110,000 square-foot facility, is the first of its kind for Mayo Clinic in that it brings multiple strategic partners under one roof dedicated to scientific discovery and therapeutics. This new building expands upon state-of-the-art research activities being conducted by Mayo investigators in the SC Johnson Research Building next door.




Mayo Clinic Cancer Center is one of only 39 U.S. medical centers that have been named as a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Comprehensive Cancer Center. To receive this designation, an institution must meet rigorous standards demonstrating clinical excellence in treating cancer patients and scientific excellence in its research programs. Mayo Clinic Cancer Center is ranked by the NCI as one of the top 10 cancer centers in the nation, and is the only national, multi-site center with the NCI's Comprehensive Cancer Center designation. In Arizona, Mayo's clinical and research experts work together to address the complex needs of cancer patients, with a dedication to understanding the biology of cancer; discovering new ways to predict, prevent, diagnose and treat cancer; and transforming the quality of life for cancer patients today and in the future.


Did you know?
Three internationally recognized research specialists have joined Mayo Clinic in Arizona to lead the organization's multiple myeloma research and to expand Mayo's drug development program. They have expanded the clinical and research capabilities for multiple myeloma at Mayo Clinic, a long-standing area of expertise. Rafael Fonseca, M.D., Site Director for Hematologic Malignancies, moved from Mayo Clinic in Minnesota to create a new center for myeloma research and care in 2004. He now joins forces with Keith Stewart, M.B.Ch.B., from University of Toronto, and P. Leif Bergsagel, M.D., from Weill College of Medicine at Cornell University. Both Dr. Stewart and Dr. Bergsagel have joined the Department of Hematology/Oncology as Professor and Associate Professor of Medicine, respectively, and as Senior Associate Consultants.

Medicineworld.org: New Multiple Myeloma Research Program

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