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Archive - Sep 12, 2011

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Researchers Use New Tool to Counter Drug Resistance in Multiple Myeloma

"Acquired drug resistance" (ADR) is a major problem encountered in treating some forms of cancer. The ability to monitor the proteins involved in drug resistance has been a hurdle facing cancer researchers. However, a team of researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, and colleagues, are pioneering promising research utilizing a monitoring technology that could provide a better understanding of ADR and assist in clinical decision-making for developing individualized patient treatments for multiple myeloma. The technique has potentially broader applications to other types of cancer as well. The team’s research results are published in the October issue of Molecular and Cellular Proteomics and were first published online on August 16, 2011. "Multiple myeloma is an incurable malignancy in the bone marrow," said Dr. John M. Koomen, assistant member in Molecular Oncology and Experimental Therapeutics and scientific director of Moffitt's Proteomics Core Facility. "While patients with multiple myeloma initially respond to chemotherapy, they eventually develop drug resistance from a variety of factors. We want to be able to detect acquired drug resistance, so that we can change the therapeutic regimen to meet the needs of the patient." The research team has employed a method called Liquid Chromatography Multiple Reaction Monitoring (LC-MRM) to monitor proteins determined to be involved in ADR. This was based on the prior myeloma research conducted at Moffitt by Dr. William S. Dalton, Moffitt's CEO and center director, and colleagues. Among the factors in ADR is an alteration in the "apoptopic machinery" of cells. Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, is determined by the interaction of anti-apoptosis and pro-apoptosis proteins in response to both external and internal stimuli.