The role of metastatic microenvironment in Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma is the 2nd most frequent haematological cancer with over 300 new cases per year in Portugal. In some cases, multiple myeloma cells can metastasize to distant sites forming extramedullary-disease, which is associated with poor prognosis and therapy resistance. It is likely that multiple myeloma, and particularly extramedullary myeloma, will remain incurable until a better understanding of the molecular events that drive the disease, and targeted therapies to such changes, are developed.

The general objective of this project is to study new markers for extramedullary myeloma in patients, using the emerging field of liquid biopsies, including proteomics and microRNA analysis of exosomal molecules. This work is being developed in collaboration with Bruno Costa-Silva and his group.

Our experimental work includes the development of pre-clinical studies to understand the role of tumour supportive microenvironments in extramedullary myeloma. In addition to investigating the biological basis of this disease, we are also using the emerging field of liquid biopsies in MM. This includes the use of exosomes as a minimally invasive source of tumour-derived biomolecules and potential new biomarkers in patients’ samples.

This project is developed collaboratively with the Systems Oncology Group. It also has the participation of Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Ocidental for the recruitment of patients for its clinical observational trial.

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