Understanding the pathway behind the uncontrollable proliferation of cancer cells can be beneficial in discovering more effective ways to combat the disease. Recently, clinicians from major hemato-oncology departments and researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel have successfully understood about myeloma cancer in pre-cancer phases as well as post-treatment conditions and re-emergence.
The irrepressible multiplication of antibodies-producing plasma cells in the bone marrow are the second major cause of blood cancer, which may also lead to different organ failures and ultimately demise Even after a lot of investment in cancer research, the major obstacle in the diagnostics pathway of myeloma is the uniqueness of patients, and diagnostics of the disease onset is not possible through currently available blood tests. So, it is not possible to classify the patients related to the type of treatment provided.
Dr. Assaf Weiner and Dr. Guy Ledergor–from the Weizmann Institute of Science–together with Prof. Amos Tanay thought of very-sensitive technique, single-cell RNA sequencing that could provide important information regarding the buildup of multiple myeloma and sort out some new and efficient approaches to diagnose and treat the disease. With the vision of efficient diagnosis, Prof. Gabi Barbash headed the Weizmann Institute’s Bench-to-Bedside Program, which has facilitated the efforts by Israel in the recruitment of Israel-based many hemato-oncology departments.
The new method diagnoses the disease by sequencing the RNA in individual cells for thousands of times from the sample collected from the patient’s bone marrow or blood. Through sequencing, the researchers could identify the active gene program in each individual cell. To clearly understand the blueprint of myeloma cancer, the researchers first created a detailed model of control by sequencing thousands of normal plasma cells extracted from healthy individuals. Through the sequencing of normal plasma cells, the blueprint of control cells was generated, which was almost similar to the normal cells. However, after comparing blueprints of normal cells and myeloma cells, the scientists discovered that myeloma cells varied from patient to patient as well as within a patient.