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AUTHORS: B. Van Ness, C. Ramos, A. Hoering, J. Crowley, J. Haessler, G. Morgan, D. Johnson, M. Katz, D. Baris, B. Durie
The Bank On A Cure®, International Myeloma Foundation
by Lynne Lederman, PhD
The Bank On A Cure (BOAC) mission is to create a DNA bank and develop correlations of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in germline DNA with risk, prognosis, response to treatment, and other parameters. The BOAC custom SNP chip contains DNA from both patients with myeloma and those without. Gene functions that were examined included those associated with drug metabolism, bone marrow microenvironment, immune response, and DNA repair. The custom chip includes 3404 SNPs in contrast to the 500,000 contained in GEP arrays, but is high in functional density. Because of high variability in minor allele frequencies in white vs. black unaffected individuals, the first analyses included white patients and controls; analysis of black patients and controls will follow. SNP analysis is in its early stages, but gene variants that separate affected from unaffected individuals have been identified. There is no one predictor of survival but functional groups of genes involved in signaling, immune response, and drug metabolism have been identified in patients in clinical trials in the US and UK that may affect both response to therapy and survival. It may also be possible to combine information from SNP analysis with GEP to build a larger picture of response and prognosis.