Multiple myeloma is a cancer of our blood plasma cells and is associated with destructive bone disease resulting in fractures and pain. Current treatment options for multiple myeloma inhibit the resorption of bone, but only partially prevent bone destruction. In addition, these treatments cause severe side effects due to their lack of selectivity. Therefore, novel approaches are urgently needed.
To that end, Dr. Suzanne Lentzsch is investigating how a particular enzyme—matrix metalloproteinase-13, or MMP-13—is involved in the destruction of bone tissue. Already, her team has found that multiple myeloma cells express MMP-13 at high levels and that it binds to and activates the cells implicated in bone degeneration. She’s also found that MMP-13 binds to a receptor called VISTA on T cells, which can then shut them down and may be the cause of the immune-suppression that occurs in multiple myeloma. In this work, Lentzsch will characterize how MMP-13 affects these various cell types with the end goal of developing immunotherapy strategies that could block bone destruction as well as prevent the suppression of T cell activity in patients with multiple myeloma.
Projects and Grants
Checkpoint Inhibitor PD-1H (VISTA) Links Multiple Myeloma Bone Disease and Myeloma Induced Immunosuppression
Columbia University Medical Center | Multiple Myeloma | 2020
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