Bank On A Cure® is the International Myeloma Foundation's groundbreaking myeloma research project. With the understanding that each patient's response to therapy is unique and influenced by his or her own DNA patterns, the IMF has developed this first-ever comprehensive databank of myeloma patient DNA and information. Bank On A Cure brings together the global myeloma community—researchers, patients, families, and caregivers.
The goal of Bank On A Cure is to collect DNA samples from at least 10,000 participants. Processing and analyzing this data will yield important clues about each individual person's response to treatment and susceptibility to toxic side effects. This will help researchers gain a greater understanding of how myeloma drugs work, and how they can be improved. Bank On A Cure data will also provide vital insights into the causes of myeloma, and, ultimately, will lead to itsprevention and a cure.
Our Progress So Far
The IMF has acquired many DNA samples and correlative data from myeloma patients who have submitted kits individually or participated in "Swish and Rinse" group events. In addition, investigators from various institutions and major clinical trials groups have transferred samples gathered from patients enrolled in their current clinical trials.
The IMF has acquired two Affymetrix MegaAllele systems, completed the design of the custom myeloma SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) testing chip, taken delivery on the first batch of chips, and run control samples. The IMF Scientific Advisors involved with the Bank On A Cure project have established the nearterm priorities for analysis.
Using our Bank On A Cure data, the IMF is conducting comprehensive research with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in order to identify genes linked to the causes of myeloma.
So far, we have processed over 3,500 DNA samples.
Our custom-designed DNA testing chip has helped us identify variations in genes that may explain why some people experience toxic side effects, and is helping us target more effective myeloma treatments.
In the near term, we plan to focus our efforts on investigating pharmacogenomics of thalidomide, Revlimid®, and VELCADE®, as well as on performing epidemiological studies.
The IMF will continue to update its members on the Bank On A Cure project as further progress is made. We thank all the friends of the IMF for the generous support that has made this innovative myeloma research project possible!