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Dr. Leif Bergsagel, MD of the Mayo Clinic shares the impact of the MYC translocation in myeloma progression and relapse and a new target that boosts immunity while impacting myeloma cells
Dr. Leif Bergsagel, MD of the Mayo Clinic shares the impact of the MYC translocation in myeloma progression and relapse and a new target that boosts immunity while impacting myeloma cells image
HealthTree Podcast for Multiple Myeloma
event Mar 12, 2014 / 11:00AM - 12:00PM MDT

Event Description

Learn about all myeloma happenings on the new Myeloma Crowd site: the first comprehensive site for myeloma patients and caregivers. Dr. Leif Bergsagel, MD Mayo Clinic Scottsdale Interview date: March 7, 2014 

 Dr. Leif Bergsagel shares his deep expertise in the genetics of myeloma. He describes best treatment options for patients with 4;14 tranlocations and unique characteristics of 14;16, 14;20 and hyperdiploidy myeloma.  He shares a fascinating history of his work on the MYC translocation (present in almost half of all myeloma patients) and his belief that MYC can change MGUS into active myeloma and make myeloma relapse. In order to detect MYC, gene sequencing tests need to be used as the FISH test can't pick all of it up. He explains the difference between primary and secondary mutations and details how certain genetic mutations respond to existing and newer therapies. He describes a new target now in clinical trial at the Mayo Clinic called LCL161 that boosts the immune system to activate the NFkB pathway and how that is now successfully being used in a Phase II trial. He gives a history of how he came to find this target and why it works so well (and makes patients feel good at the same time).  The live mPatient Myeloma Radio podcast with Dr. Leif Bergsagel

Schedule & Agenda

Dr. Leif Bergsagel & Jenny Ahlstrom

Speakers & Moderators

The panelist Leif Bergsagel, MD
Leif Bergsagel, MD

Leif Bergsagel, MD, is among the top researchers in the world who studies the molecular pathogenesis of multiple myeloma. His laboratory is focused on understanding the molecular events that lead to the development of MGUS and its progression to multiple myeloma. The research of Dr. Bergsagel and his colleagues has identified important subtypes of multiple myeloma that respond differently to treatment, are associated with different survival rates and form the basis for a risk-adapted approach to therapy. Using insights gained from an understanding of the genetic events that lead to the development of multiple myeloma, Dr. Bergsagel’s team have generated a mouse model of the disease. This model is being used to screen novel agents for their anti-myeloma activity. Dr. Bergsagel’s team have cloned more than 35 translocation breakpoints and identified five frequent translocation partners that are present in almost one-half of patients with multiple myeloma. They are now working to identify and clone various translocation breakpoints in order to clarify their roles in the development of multiple myeloma. Another focus is on the MYC oncogene that appears in some patients to cause the progression of MGUS to myeloma. Prior to joining the faculty at the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Bergsagel was on the medical faculty of the University of Toronto and a Medical Staff Fellow at the National Cancer Institute. He was a junior resident at the Stanford University Medical Center, completed his internship at Sunnybrook Medical Centre, and received his MD from the University of Toronto. He is a member of the National Institutes of Health Basic Mechanisms of Cancer Therapeutics Study Section and the American Society for Clinical Investigations. His honors include lectureships at Ohio State University, Hammersmith Hospital in London, England, and the Daniel E. Bergsagel visiting professorship at the Ontario Cancer Institute in Canada. In 2009 he was honored with the Robert A. Kyle Mayo Clinic Distinguished Investigator Award.

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The panelist Jennifer Ahlstrom
Jennifer Ahlstrom

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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