Dr. Eric Bartee, MD, PhD Medical University of South Carolina Interview Date: November 14
Dr. Eric Bartee, MD, PhD and virologist describes a new virus that seems to be a perfect fit for myeloma therapy, making the stem cell transplant process potentially more effective. A new rabbit virus called the myxoma virus can be used after the stem cells are harvested to kill residual myeloma cells in the collected stem cells before they are reinfused during transplant. Many methods have been used in the past to try to "clean up" these stem cells, but have been historically ineffective for many reasons. This is the first time a new virus is able to target the myeloma cells without hurting the healthy stem cells needed for regrowth. Dr. Bartee describes the history of this virus - over 60 years of testing in other venues. He shares why myeloma is the ideal target for this virus and how it has been used in other cancers to date. He describes the process of how the virus is used - the virus is added to collected stem cells, the stem cells are shaked, a 10-minute waiting period passes and the stem cells are reinfused. One of the challenges to other approaches was that they required the myeloma cells to be dead before they were reinfused. The time lag posed a threat to the healthy stem cells needed for regrowth and compromised a patient's chances for survival. In this approach, the myeloma cells are tagged for death and when reinfused are the "walking dead". This may also be used to treat residual myeloma cells already in the body, but it is likely to be most effective as a single-shot approach to clean up residual myeloma cells. It is likely to be best used as a combination therapy approach during the transplant process. The mPatient Myeloma Show with Dr. Eric Bartee
Myeloma survivor, patient advocate, wife, mom of 6. Believer that patients can help accelerate a cure by weighing in and participating in clinical research. Founder of the HealthTree Foundation.
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