Study of the epigenetic regulation of multiple myeloma cells within the bone marrow microenvironment.

Project Details


Multiple myeloma (MM) is a plasma cell cancer located in the bone marrow (BM). In the BM, the MM cells receive signals to survive, grow, escape the immune system and develop drug resistance. Although new drugs targeting these signals have significantly improved overall survival, most patients still inevitably relapse. Consequently, further (pre)clinical testing of novel agents and development of new therapeutic approaches are still needed. Epigenetic changes play a major role in MM pathogenesis. The best documented epigenetic changes known to be involved in MM onset and progression are DNA methylation and post-translational histone changes. Interestingly, these changes are reversible, thus presenting new potential targets. Histone deacetylase and DNA methyltransferase inhibitors are 2 classes of epigenetic-modulating agents currently in early clinical development in MM. However, the exact mechanisms of action of these agents remain poorly understood, thus slowing down implementation in clinic. In this study, we wish to identify the mechanisms by which these epigenetic-modulating agents mediate their anti-MM effects both in vitro and in vivo, where the cells are protected by the BM niche. A better understanding of the cellular response to epigenetic-targeted treatment will hopefully provide potential therapeutic advances.
Effective start/end date1/01/1531/12/15

Flemish discipline codes

  • Basic sciences
  • Biological sciences


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