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Sydney 2005:
Angiogenesis in Myeloma - An Overview
By S. Vincent Rajkumar, MD

Dr. Rajkumar provided an overview of recent literature on angiogenesis in myeloma. Angiogenesis is a striking characteristic of MM and is associated with disease progression, poor prognosis, and low survival rates as myeloma cells take over the bone. The abnormal blood vessels resulting from angiogenesis provide blood supply for the MM tumor to grow. Across the range of normal patients, those with MGUS, smoldering MM (SMM), and MM, the density of microvessels in the BM increases and correlates with progression of disease. Potential therapies targeting angiogenesis include antibodies that inhibit angiogenesis and molecules that inhibit specific growth factors. Cells from MGUS patients and myeloma patients express both growth factors and growth factor receptors. These cells respond differently to the growth factors and the growth factors and growth factor receptors do not appear to be the only influence on angiogenesis. Recent data suggest that inhibition, or lack of inhibition, of angiogenesis may be the key difference between MGUS and MM cells. Dr. Rajkumar’s group recently characterized the angiogenic inhibitory activity of MGUS, SMM, and MM cells. The inhibitor activity decreased from 63% for MGUS to 43% for SMM and 4% for MM cells, correlating with the progression of MM. Dr. Rajkumar’s group is continuing to investigate the inhibition of angiogenic activity in the various cell types involved in MM.

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