Identification and characterisation of the tumour-initiating cell in multiple myeloma.

  • Van Valckenborgh, Els, (Administrative Promotor)

Project Details


Multiple myeloma (MM) is a plasma cell cancer associated with an accumulation of tumour cells in the bone marrow. Despite improvements in treatment, MM is still an incurable malignancy where most of the patients will relapse and die of therapy-refractory disease. In MM, different subpopulations (B cells, plasmablasts, plasma cells) are described which are clonally related to the tumour. The relapse of patients might be explained by the current treatment which is not able to eradicate all the tumour populations because of differential drug sensitivities. In addition, tumour cells might acquire resistance during therapy. Investigations of drug sensitivity and resistance of the different (sub)populations would lead to a better development of the treatment of MM patients. In this project, drug response to conventional and new anti-tumour drugs of different MM (sub)populations, including CD138negative (B cells) and CD138positive (plasma cells) MM cells and MM cells after treatment (relapse), will be measured. The role of cIAP2 in drug sensitivity and resistance will be investigated by overexpression or silencing it in human MM cells. Furthermore, analysing gene expression in MM cells at diagnosis and after relapse will give us insight in the mechanism of relapse and resistance, resulting in the identification of interesting treatment targets.
Effective start/end date1/10/0930/09/15

Flemish discipline codes

  • Basic sciences
  • Biological sciences


  • Stem Cell
  • Blood
  • Coagulation
  • Myeloma
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology
  • HLA
  • Hematology
  • Lymphoma
  • cancer
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation