We are pleased to announce the publication of our most recent paper titled “Prevention Is the Best Treatment: The Case for Understanding the Transition from Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance to Myeloma,” which is free to view here.
Screening and prevention strategies have been used successfully in some solid tumor cancers, including breast, colon, and prostate. Multiple Myeloma is essentially always preceded by a non-malignant precursor stage called Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance (MGUS). We believe that if we could identify ways to prevent the transition from pre-malignant MGUS to myeloma, we could reduce the personal, societal and economic burden of this devastating blood cancer. In our paper, we review some possible prevention strategies. We also provide the first data on the incidence of sleep-disordered breathing and daytime sleepiness in myeloma patients, and comprehensively detail the multi-million dollar cost of treating this disease.
Thank you to all the lab members and collaborators who contributed to this effort. We hope this paper will be helpful to the scientific and patient community, and to find others who also believe that prevention is the best treatment.
Last week our lab came together in the Clinical Research Unit at the University of Iowa to film the online supplement to our paper titled “Combining volumetric capnography and barometric plethysmography to measure the lung structure-function relationship.” This method allows the investigator to measure the volume of the airways at different lung volumes, to more comprehensively evaluate the lung. As we say in the paper…
This may be a valuable tool for investigators aiming to quantify the influence of airways mechanics versus lung compliance and elastance on pulmonary function in healthy and diseased populations. Furthermore accounting for the absolute lung volume at which the… measurements are being performed allows investigators to characterize the effects of conditions that can alter the inflation state of the lung, such as obesity, lung transplant, or interventions like chest wall strapping. [This method] may ultimately have clinical utility in the intensive care setting.
The paper is in-press with the Journal of Visualized Experiments and will be available soon. Thanks to our collaborators and lab members who came out and contributed to the process!
A focus of our laboratory is understanding the regulation of pulmonary blood vessels by hypoxia, including non-canonical intrapulmonary shunt vessels. While we still don’t understand a lot about their structure, we recently found that they are regulated (in part) by the beta-2 adrenergic pathway. Beta-2 adrenergic receptors cause dilation (or widening) of blood vessels in the body. Blocking these receptors prevents intrapulmonary shunt vessels from being fully recruited. This is important because opening these pathways may compromise oxygen uptake, which is a major function of the lung.
There is a lot about these pathways that we still don’t understand. Our current interest is motivated by their identification in the lungs of infants and adults that have died of pulmonary hypertension. We hope that by studying their regulation, we can better understand the role they play in lung disease and develop new treatments for these patients.
Work completed with our collaborators in Naomi Chesler’s laboratory has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Biomechanics! The paper titled “Pulmonary arterial strain- and remodeling-induced stiffening are differentiated in a chronic model of pulmonary hypertension ” reports our finding that chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension causes stiffening of the large elastic arteries and that this is correlated with changes in their structure.
Pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure in the lung vessels that can ultimately lead to heart failure. There is currently no cure for pulmonary hypertension and the prognosis for these patients is pretty grim. 66% of patients die within five years of their diagnosis. Understanding the factors that contribute to the development of pulmonary hypertension will hopefully lead to new treatments for this devastating.
Multiple myeloma is an incurable plasma cancer and the second most common blood malignancy. We have been interested in the role oxygen plays in mediating the progression of this disease and our new collaboration with the Translational Myeloma Group at the University of Iowa has yielded it’s first publication in the journal Oncotarget. We are glad to have had the opportunity to help the Zhan Laboratory with the effort. Our paper titled “Alteration of Mitochondrial Biogenesis Promotes Disease Progression in Multiple Myeloma” should be available soon!