$4 Million Perelman Foundation Donation to Kick-start Myeloma Research Initiative

Inês Martins, PhD avatar

by Inês Martins, PhD |

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The first research program dedicated to the early detection and prevention of multiple myeloma will  be under way soon, thanks to a $4 million Perelman Family Foundation donation to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.

The Perelman Family Foundation Early Disease Translational Research Program will be established as part of the myeloma research foundation’s Prevention Project, which is aimed at accelerating efforts toward early detection and ultimately prevention of myeloma.

The Perelman program will focus on understanding genomic determinants of early myeloma progression, identifying microenvironment factors that influence early disease progression, and finding ways to strengthen immunity against the tumors.

Teams from six research centers will collaborate to identify new biomarkers of the disease’s progression. The idea is to target the biomarkers to develop therapies to delay or halt the disease’s progression.

The centers are the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Rockefeller University, University of Arkansas for Medical Science, and Yale University.

Currently, early detection of myeloma does not improve a patient’s chance of surviving. The Perelman program hopes researchers can come together to change this.

“The Perelman Family Foundation Early Disease Translational Research Program will support research focused on improving outcomes after early detection,” Anna Chapman, who co-directs the foundation with Ronald O. Perelman, said in a press release. “The goal of this initiative is to develop a completely new paradigm for research in multiple myeloma, focusing on early detection and ultimately prevention. Right now, detection of this terrible disease often comes too late. Unlike most cancers, early detection of multiple myeloma doesn’t increase a person’s chance of survival under current treatment options.”

“We are so thankful to Ronald and Anna [Perelman] for supporting our vision for a bold program that will take us one step closer to a future where our children and grandchildren will never need to worry about incurable cancers,” said Kathy Giusti, founder of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Not only doses the myeloma foundation “answer the questions of patients today and urgently deliver them the precise information and treatment they need to fight their multiple myeloma, but, with this generous donation, we will now also be able to focus on the patients of tomorrow,” Giusti said.

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