Uppsala UniversitetWith increase in availability of effective cancer treatments, an elevation in the number of cancer survivors is also registered. Here is another investigation that seemingly develops new hope for patients with multiple myeloma, which is believed to be one of the most common blood cancers with no cure. A latest research undertaken by the Uppsala University has apparently put forth a novel conceptual model for the development and progression of multiple myeloma.

The experts employed large cohorts of myeloma patients and discovered a profile of genes that are silenced by epigenetic mechanisms in the malignant plasma cell. In the course of the research, the investigators compared silenced gene profile to normal plasma cells. It is assumed that the normal plasma cells are highly specialized for which growth and lifetime is tightly controlled.

The Polycomb repressor complex (PcG) supposedly controls the silenced genes which contains a common denominator in being targets. Previously, this complex seemed to be responsible for self-renewal and division of normal embryonic stem cells. Having utilized an animal model, the scientists suggest to have identified that inhibitors of PcG can reduce the growth of tumour cells of myeloma.

Helena Jernberg Wiklund, professor at the Department of Genetics and Pathology, Rudbeck Laboratory, Uppsala University and one of the investigators in the research added, “This silencing may lead to the uncontrolled growth of the malignant cells.”

On the discovery of the PcG complex, Helena anticipated that drugs targeting the PcG complex, leading to reactivation of the silenced gene profile can help treat multiple myeloma. A prior investigation by the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center had ascertained the drug to treat this type of cancer.

The research is published in the July edition of the on-line journal PLoS ONE.