Preventing bone damage and tackling myeloma relapse
Two major problems with myeloma are firstly, the devastating bone destruction often seen and secondly, despite successful initial chemotherapy, myeloma comes back and ultimately causes death. It is not clear why we cannot prevent these two major problems. In these studies we will combine new approaches to myeloma bone disease adding drugs that build bone to drugs that prevent the removal of bone. We hope that this will have a substantial and additional bone protective effect and may lead, for the first time, to actual repair of existing bone destruction. Secondly, we believe that within the myeloma cell population, there is a hidden, resting population which is responsible for relapse. We are trying to detect this population and test new targets in the hope of eliminating this population. To achieve these objectives we will use new combinations of recently introduced chemotherapies and new bone targeted drugs.