Myeloma Research Group
The Myeloma Research Group, headed by Andrew Zannettino, studies multiple myeloma, a blood cancer characterised by the clonal expansion of malignant plasma cells.
Myeloma affects approximately 86,000 people around the world each year. Myeloma is almost always preceded by an asymptomatic form of the disease known as monoclonal gammopathy of uncertain significance (MGUS).
The factors that trigger the progression from MGUS to myeloma remain unknown. The laboratory is using state-of-the-art genomics to identify the genetic drivers of disease progression. Using this approach, the laboratory have identified a number of biomarkers of high-risk disease and potential candidate therapeutic targets including N-cadherin and PTTG1.
In collaboration with Dr Worthley, the laboratory is investigating the role of bone marrow mesenchyme in myeloma disease development. Specifically, the team are investigating the role of the mesenchymal stem cell secreted factor, Gremlin-1, in myeloma disease establishment and disease progression. Collectively, these approaches will enable the identification of new molecular markers of disease risk and lead to the design of novel therapeutics.