Up to 75% of the cells in bone marrow are fat cells (adipocytes), which interact very closely with multiple myeloma tumor cells. In addition, as the concentration of bone marrow cells increases with age and obesity, so too does the incidence of multiple myeloma. Why, then, are these cells and this interaction so understudied? What remains to be discovered about the underlying mechanism of multiple myeloma and how might it lead to better ways of managing and treating it?
These are the questions being asked and investigated by Michaela Reagan, Ph.D. and her team at the Maine Medical Center Research Institute. She explains the biochemical and physiological processes involved with the development of multiple myeloma, including the pre-metastatic niche and something referred to as the chemokine gradient, the connection between cancer and osteoporosis, how combination therapies can be used to determine why drug therapies are effective for some and not for others, epigenetic changes in tumors, and ultimate goals of her ongoing research.
Tune in for the full conversation and learn more by visiting mmcri.org and clicking on Dr. Reagan in the faculty list.