$10M Gift to Open Myeloma Research Center at Ohio State

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by Mary Chapman |

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myeloma center at OSU

A new research center at Ohio State University (OSU) aims to speed work into the discovery and development of more effective treatments for those with multiple myeloma.

The Riney Family Foundation Myeloma Center for Advanced Research Excellence (Myeloma CARE) is being established through a $10 million gift from the Paula and Rodger Riney Foundation to the OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center — Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James). The gift will be made over two years.

With this financial backing, OSUCCC – James will explore prospective therapies using certain molecular targets, including some identified by its scientists. The new virtual center, a collaborative effort of the OSUCCC–James Drug Development Institute (DDI) and the OSU hematology division, will also promote research sharing and collaborative study.

Among initial projects will be creation of a comprehensive multi-institutional database for categorizing patient samples, and correlating de-identified health data for research that seeks to better understand and treat myeloma.

“As a five-year survivor, my family and I personally understand and are passionate about investing in this scientific research that is absolutely critical for finding less toxic, more effective treatments for people facing this disease. We are honored we have the ability to invest in hope through multiple myeloma research at the OSUCCC – James,” Rodger Riney said in a press release.

Myeloma CARE will be led by Don Benson, a professor in the hematology division at Ohio State and myeloma program director. It will include numerous clinicians and researchers at OSUCCC – James who specialize in multiple myeloma.

“We are very focused on pushing new therapies from the lab to clinical trials,” Benson said. “Our progress may be faster and more impactful by developing methods to share discoveries and collaborate with colleagues at other major centers.”

Jeff Patrick, DDI director, expects that a collaborative research database will help to speed valuable discoveries and the potential for new treatments.

“People with myeloma don’t have time to wait,” Patrick said. “The future is bright but there is still much work to do. We are so grateful to the Paula and Rodger Riney Foundation for believing in and supporting our mission.”

Scientists will work alongside DDI investigators to advance promising treatment targets from the lab into clinical testing. The DDI seeks to push projects through to early stage treatment development.

“The Myeloma Center for Advanced Research Excellence unites our expert researchers from the DDI and the division of hematology to accelerate innovative treatments for patients with multiple myeloma,” said Harold L. Paz, executive vice president and chancellor for health affairs at OSU, and CEO of the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center.

Kristina M. Johnson, OSU president, said academic research is crucial since all therapeutic breakthroughs begin in the lab.

“The Riney family’s extraordinary commitment to Ohio State’s cancer drug discovery and development is an investment in hope for better outcomes and richer futures for patients and their families. Their generosity will improve countless lives for years to come,” she said.