Search for novel drug targets for myeloma

Lead researcher - Dr Alexandra Irvine, Queen’s University Belfast
Cancer type - Myeloma
Investigation of the E3 ligase HUWE1 as a therapeutic target in Multiple Myeloma
Amount awarded: £202,080
Award start date: 01 May 2016
Award duration: 3 yrs (36 months)

Multiple myeloma (myeloma) is a cancer that affects plasma cells, a type of blood cell found in bone marrow. An important approach to treating myeloma is to block the function of a large group of proteins that form the ubiquitin proteasome system, using drugs called proteasome inhibitors. While proteasome inhibitors can be successfully used to manage myeloma, a significant proportion of patients stop responding to this treatment or experience bad side-effects. As we learn more about the ubiquitin proteasome system, it is becoming clear that we may be able to use drugs to block the function of individual proteins within this system and therefore reduce the risk of toxic side-effects. We have found that there is a high expression of one of these individual proteins in myeloma cells. This project will investigate if this protein is important in helping myeloma cells to grow and survive and test drugs to target this protein in myeloma cells. It is hoped that this research will help to find new treatment options for myeloma.