One of the most significant pre-clinical projects that the Myeloma Program at Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center is currently working on involves gene array analysis.
Largely funded by a grant received from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), researchers will be using this lab procedure to analyze the expressions of thousands of genes in a myeloma patient in an effort to determine which genes are not functioning well in that person's myeloma cells. Identifying these abnormal genes will help researchers determine which patients respond to treatment and how that response occurs.
Gene arrays are a powerful tool in molecular biology today and will lead to more customized and individualized methods of treatment for various groups of multiple myeloma patients.
The purpose of gene arrays is to eventually be able to give the precise amount of treatment to a patient based on his or her specific characteristics and overall prognosis. In other words, the ultimate goal is to provide the most optimal treatment by not "over-treating" patients at low risk of disease relapse or "under-treating" patients who are at high-risk of disease relapse.
Gene array analysis is truly changing the practice of medicine.
Patients in the Myeloma Program at Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center will be asked if they would like to participate in gene arrays, but participation is completely optional.