Dr Karen Shires receives AstraZeneca funding for cancer research

18 Nov 2014 - 09:00

Dr Karen Shires, Senior Medical Scientist (Haematology), National Health Laboratory Service (Groote Schuur Hospital /UCT), has received funding from AstraZeneca to conduct research on the use of cancer/testis antigen expression as a tool for monitoring multiple myeloma.

Project Cancer/testis antigen (CTA) expression in Multiple Myeloma: A tool for monitoring minimal residual disease in Multiple Myeloma.

Through the investigation of CTA expression in Multiple Myeloma (MM), it has become clear that melanoma antigen E (MAGE) antigens, specifically C1 and A3/6, play a significant role in the pathogenesis of the disease.

We will exploit the strong association of MAGE C1 expression with all types of MM to help identify the malignant plasma cell population.

We will then investigate the use of this marker to monitor minimal residual disease in patients undergoing therapy.



MAGE-A3/6, prostrate associated antigen (PAGE) and B melanoma antigen (BAGE) expression will also be monitored in an effort to predict relapse.

The aim is to provide a monitoring mechanism for clinicians, so that they can better respond to treatment failures, assess new and existing treatment strategies and thereby improve patient outcome.