What role does the hormone adiponectin have in the development of myeloma?

Lead researcher - Professor Claire Edwards, University of Oxford
Cancer type - Myeloma
Regulation of tumour-suppressive adiponectin in MGUS and myeloma
Amount awarded: £222,892
Award start date: 01 Sep 2014
Award duration: 3.5 yrs (43 months)

Professor Edwards has identified that low levels of adiponectin – a hormone that modulates a number of metabolic processes - are associated with progression from MGUS to myeloma. She aims to find out how and why there is a decrease in adiponectin – this could help identify people with MGUS who are at greatest risk in developing myeloma.


Multiple myeloma is a fatal blood cancer. It is nearly always preceded by the non-cancerous blood cell disorder termed monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). Not all patients with MGUS will develop myeloma, and the reasons why only some patients with MGUS progress to myeloma are poorly understood. We have identified that low levels of a specific molecule, adiponectin, are associated with progression from MGUS to myeloma, but the reasons why adiponectin is decreased are unknown. We propose to use a comprehensive combination of measurements in patient blood samples, cellular studies and preclinical models of myeloma to investigate this. Identification of these mechanisms will increase our understanding of myeloma development, which is essential in order to ultimately develop a cure for this fatal cancer, and will help identify those patients at greatest risk for progression from MGUS to multiple myeloma.