Myeloma Crowd Research Initiative (MCRI) Announces Three Award Recipients
Myeloma Crowd Research Initiative (MCRI) Announces Three Award Recipients image
Myeloma Crowd Research Initiative (MCRI) Announces Three Award Recipients
Posted Nov 19, 2018

 Donate to the MCRI Today

The first Myeloma Crowd Research Initiative (MCRI) successfully raised $500,000 for two immunotherapy research projects for high-risk myeloma (CAR T and T cell treatments).

Now, the MCRI will fund research to match the right treatment with the right patient at the right time. 

A small fraction of multiple myeloma patients may already be cured but researchers don’t know who, how and why. Some patients can live years without relapse while others struggle with aggressive high-risk myeloma and die quickly. Patients relapse or become refractory to treatments because the disease changes over time and with each treatment. Each myeloma case is an ever-moving target. 

The MCRI taps into the power of crowdsourcing and crowdfunding to find and fund the best ideas, research and clinical applications leading to the best treatments to achieve longer lives and potential cures. 

Help us bring curative treatments to all myeloma patients by donating today.


MCRI Award Recipients


David Chung, MD, PhD

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Creating an Immune System Signature

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. 


Cesar Rodriguez, MD

Wake Forest University

Testing Your Individual Myeloma Tumor Against Available Myeloma Therapies

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.

Fenghuang (Frank) Zhan, PhD

University of Iowa

Targeting CD24 to Eliminate Myeloma Stem Cells

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. 

Please invite your caregivers, family and friends to donate to the MCRI to fund these important projects. With the link below, you can donate or create individual or team pages that you can then share with your friends on social media. We need your help because we "Can't Wait for a Cure." 

Donate to the MCRI Today

The author Jennifer Ahlstrom

about the author
Jennifer Ahlstrom

Myeloma survivor, patient advocate, wife, mom of 6. Believer that patients can help accelerate a cure by weighing in and participating in clinical research. Founder of Myeloma Crowd by HealthTree and the HealthTree Foundation.

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