The Myeloma Crowd
Research Initiative (MCRI)


To get our best possible outcomes, patients need to receive the right treatment at the right time for their unique myeloma. We are funding projects to find the best possible personalized treatments for each patient.

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. Our goal is to find and fund a cure for multiple myeloma.


Creating a Myeloma Patient Immune System Signature

David Chung, MD, PhD

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Why do some multiple myeloma patients relapse early after stem cell transplant while others stay in remission for many years? The patient’s immune system may be a key factor.  Dr. Chung’s research will review patients who have undergone stem cell transplant. He will study three different parts of their immune system after transplant – T cells, lymphocytes and myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and will compare patients with early vs. late relapse. He will then combine that immune system signature with the myeloma genetics of each patient to understand the impact they have together. 

Testing Your Individual Myeloma Tumor Against Available Myeloma Therapies

Cesar Rodriguez, MD

Wake Forest University

Each myeloma patient’s tumor is unique and can change over time. Dr. Rodriguez is using a new 3D organoid tumor modeling platform which allows the testing of over 50 myeloma treatment combinations against your specific tumor (including your bone marrow microenvironment) to identify which treatments will work best for your type of myeloma. This personalized approach will help you find useful drug combinations that will have the most impact and avoid treatments that will be ineffective.

Targeting CD24 to Eliminate Myeloma Stem Cells

Fenghuang (Frank) Zhan, PhD

University of Iowa

Myeloma stem cells (or early progenitor cells before they become plasma cells) may not be killed with current myeloma therapies and could be the cause of relapse. Dr. Zhan has identified the presence of CD24 as a strong candidate as a cancer stem cell marker and believes that high CD24 levels lead to more aggressive myeloma and earlier death. His work will test patient samples for the presence of CD24 and assess outcomes while also identifying CD24 monoclonal antibodies that could impact this target. 


Our goal is to provide $500,000 in funding to several research projects to identify optimal therapies for individual patients.

$206702 of $500,000 Raised

Please help us fully fund these promising research projects by donating today.

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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