The Myeloma Crowd
Research Initiative (MCRI)


We are desperately in need of new options. And since we “Can’t Wait for a Cure,” we created a research initiative to find and fund the best, innovative research with high-risk patients in mind.

The Myeloma Crowd Research Initiative (MCRI) is a new approach to funding cancer research; combining the skill and knowledge of leading myeloma specialists with the patient perspective and supportive patient social communities to select and fund promising research projects in myeloma. We succeeded in raising $500,000 for two immunotherapy projects in our first MCRI campaign. 

See What We Funded






CAR T-Cells are a hot new area of research in blood cancers. This study takes a patient’s own white blood cells from a blood sample and engineers them to target specific receptors – CS1 and BMCA – common proteins found on the surface of myeloma cells. The T Cells are then given back to the patient after a two-week period. CAR T therapy is all at once a cell therapy, gene therapy and immunotherapy. This study will be applicable for high-risk patients who have failed standard myeloma therapies but will also be appropriate for normal risk patients regardless of genetic features.


DR. IVAN BORRELLO Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmell Comprehensive Cancer Center


Dr. Ivan Borrello is working to create a patient-specific immunotherapy using enhanced T cells from the patient’s own bone marrow, for truly personalized medicine. Using white blood cells from a bone marrow sample, he is able to expand the cells a hundred-fold in the presence of the tumor cells. After these T-Cells are expanded, they are given back to the patient on day 3 or 4 of autologous transplant. When they are reintroduced, they leverage the body’s natural process to further expand more immune fighter cells and they target hundreds of proteins that could be causing tumor growth for that patient, not just a single protein. This is an open clinical study today for patients with high-risk genetic features.

Learn More About Their Research


Thanks to your generous donations, we raised $500,000 and have distributed the funds to the researchers. One hundred percent (100%) of the funds donated by individuals was applied directly to these research projects. You can continue helping advance a cure by donating to our second MCRI campaign with the theme “Optimizing Myeloma Care.” Now we are working to bring the right treatment to the right patient at the right time to identify curative strategies for each type of myeloma patient.

Donate to the MCRI


Scientific Advisory Board

C. Ola Landgren, MD, PhD
C. Ola Landgren, MD, PhDChief, Myeloma Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Irene Ghobrial, MD, PhD
Irene Ghobrial, MD, PhDDirector, Michele & Stephen Kirsch Laboratory at Dana Farber Cancer Institute
Guido Tricot, MD, PhD
Guido Tricot, MD, PhDDirector, Bone Marrow Transplant and Myeloma Program at Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, U of Iowa
Noopur Raje, MD, PhD
Noopur Raje, MD, PhDDirector, Multiple Myeloma Program at Raje Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital
Rafael Fonseca, MD
Rafael Fonseca, MDDirector, Fonseca Laboratory and Getz Family Professor of Cancer at Mayo Clinic Scottsdale
Robert Orlowski, MD, PhD
Robert Orlowski, MD, PhDDirector of Myeloma at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Patient Advisory Board

Jenny Ahlstrom
Jenny AhlstromMyeloma Survivor; Founder of CrowdCare Foundation, Myeloma Crowd, and Myeloma Crowd Radio
Jim Omel, MD
Jim Omel, MDMyeloma Survivor; Support Group Leader; Leading Patient Advocate multiplemyelomablog.com
Gary Peterson
Gary PetersonMyeloma Survivor; Patient Advocate and Myeloma Survival Statics: myelomasurvival.com
Jack Aiello
Jack AielloMyeloma Survivor; Experienced Patient Advocate
Cynthia Chmielewski
Cynthia ChmielewskiMyeloma Survivor; Experienced Patient Advocate: @MyelomaTeacher
Eric Hansen
Eric HansenMyeloma Survivor; Experienced Patient Advocate

Communications Advisory Board

Mike Thompson, MD, PhD
Mike Thompson, MD, PhDMedical Director, Early Phase Cancer Research Program at Aurora Health Care

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