Study participation is through Myeloma Crowd’s HealthTree platform, where more than 4,500 myeloma patients are currently registered. Launched last fall, the free digital tool helps multiple myeloma patients to find the best therapies for them while advancing research toward a potential cure.
Studies have indicated that multiple myeloma growth and bone damage can happen through interleukin-17 (IL-17) pathway activity. IL-17 is a pro-inflammatory cytokine, or signaling molecule, that is also a treatment target in psoriasis, an autoimmune disease of the skin. Several anti-IL-17 monoclonal antibodies have been approved in the United States as psoriasis treatments. There could also be other applicable cytokines and targets.
While scientists at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have investigated the use of anti-IL-17 psoriasis medications in mouse models of multiple myeloma — which showed a significant reduction in tumor growth and bone damage — more research is needed to understand the connections between psoriasis and multiple myeloma.
Multiple myeloma patients who have psoriasis are encouraged to join Myeloma Crowd’s study by establishing a HealthTree patient profile here. Participants should add their psoriasis diagnosis to their profiles and can join the study by clicking on the “Accelerate Myeloma Research” tile and selecting “yes” on the psoriasis survey question.
“This study demonstrates the importance of HealthTree as a tool for patients to connect with opportunities that could help them directly and accelerate a cure,” Jenny Ahlstrom, Myeloma Crowd co-founder and a myeloma patient, said in a news release. “HealthTree has been designed as a model for curing disease by leveraging the crowd, starting with myeloma with the intent of expanding to other cancers and beyond.”
The patient-driven Myeloma Crowd is a division of the patient-driven CrowdCare Foundation, which provides patient education, advocacy, and research funding for multiple myeloma.
Through HealthTree, patients can track their body’s response to different treatments while getting relevant information about available therapeutics to help find the best one for them. Patients can also find clinical trials related to their disease stage, and contribute their data for anonymous sharing with the research and patient community.