Myeloma Research Laboratory
Our laboratory studies the molecular and cellular basis for the development of the second most common blood cancer: multiple myeloma.
Myeloma is characterised by the clonal proliferation of malignant plasma cells (cells that normally protect against infection). Over 100,000 people are diagnosed with myeloma worldwide each year. Despite recent advances in treatment, myeloma remains almost universally fatal with a 10-year survival rate of approximately 17%.
Clinical manifestations of myeloma include the development of osteolytic bone lesions, bone pain, hypercalcaemia, renal insufficiency, suppressed immunoglobulin production and increased bone marrow (BM) angiogenesis. Myeloma is preceded by a premalignant (asymptomatic) monoclonal gammopathy of uncertain significance (MGUS) stage. The factors that trigger the progression from MGUS to myeloma remain to be determined; however, our studies show that both intrinsic genetic changes and extrinsic factors play a role in disease progression. Our laboratory’s research is focused on detecting the key signalling pathways that are deregulated during disease development and determining what microenvironmental changes occur during disease pathogenesis. We believe that these approaches will enable us to identify new molecular markers of disease risk and to design drugs against novel therapeutic targets.
Using state-of-the art genomics, in vitro models of cancer development, and preclinical models of disease, the Myeloma Research Laboratory is focused on identifying the key genes responsible for disease progression and the role played by the bone microenvironment in disease development and relapse. With a focus on multiple myeloma (a type of bone marrow cancer), these approaches will enable us to identify new molecular markers of disease risk and to design drugs against novel therapeutic targets.
Our group is also interested in how nutrient-sensing pathways in the skeleton can control bone mass and systemic glucose metabolism, since recent studies suggest these pathways have important implications in diseases that impact on skeletal health, such as osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes. Osteoblasts (bone-forming cells) are known to secrete factors into the circulating blood stream and, remarkably, act on tissues remote to the bone to control metabolism and reproductive function. Using sophisticated genetic models, our laboratory is investigating the function of insulin-responsive pathways in osteoblasts to gain insight into how the skeleton regulates energy metabolism in the body.
Professor Andrew Zannettino
Professor Andrew Zannettino is the Interim Executive Dean, Associate Dean (Research), Professor of Experimental Haematology in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Adelaide, and co-heads the Regenerative Medicine Program. He heads the Myeloma Research Laboratory based at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and is a founding member of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Group of the Myeloma Foundation of Australia. He is also a board member of the Robinson Research Institute, the Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health (ARCPOH), and the Colgate Australian Clinical Dental Research Centre.
Research team Role Dr Melissa Cantley Researcher Dr Stephen Fitter Researcher Dr Duncan Hewett Researcher Dr Cindy Lee - Clinical Fellow Researcher Dr Angie Yong - Myeloma Fellow Researcher Dr Sally Martin Researcher Dr Jacqueline Noll Researcher Dr Bill Panagopoulos Researcher Dr Kate Vandyke Researcher Dr Krzysztof Mrozik Researcher Rosa Harmer Research support Vicki Wilczek Research support Alanah Bradey Research support Kimberley Clark - PhD candidate Student Justine Clark - PhD candidate Student Khatora Opperman - PhD candidate Student Pawanrat Tangseefa - PhD candidate Student Mara Zeissig - PhD candidate Student Natalya Plakhova – Masters candidate Student Joshua Chey – Masters candidate Student
Related areas of research
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