Funding Awarded for Research on Multiple Myeloma

Fotis Asimakopoulos, MD, PhD, associate professor, Hematology, Medical Oncology and Palliative Care, has been awarded $600,000 over three years from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as a Translational Research Program grant. 

The research project will focus on understanding the defenses that cancer cells employ to resist treatment, with the long-term goal of enhancing the ability of immunotherapy-mobilized killer cells to do their job, and will assess a biomarker discovered by Dr. Asimakopoulos' group (the protein versican and its cleaved daughter product versikine) to determine whether levels of versikine predict T cell response and clinical outcome during immunotherapy treatment for multiple myeloma. 

Dr. Asimakopoulos will lead a team that includes researchers from the UW Carbone Cancer Center and Medical College of Wisconsin. 

The grant will build off of a myeloma vaccine clinical trial currently underway at UW-Madison; that trial is being led by Natalie Callander, MD, professor (CHS) Hematology, Medical Oncology and Palliative Care.