Join six experts for a moderated discussion on racial disparities in myeloma. Research suggests there may be genetic factors that help explain why racial disparities in myeloma incidence exist. The panel will discuss medical research projects, bioinformatics studies, clinical trials, and why fairness and equity must be high priorities to address and fix disparities, which may be keys to discovering cures for all myeloma patients.
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.
Greg Brozeit has been engaged in myeloma patient advocacy since 1998. He began working with the Myeloma Crowd in 2015. Prior to that, he consulted with Dr. Bart Barlogie at the University of Arkansas after working with the International Myeloma Foundation for 15 years, where he inaugurated the public policy advocacy program, patient support group outreach and IMF Europe, organizing more than 100 physician and patient education programs. He earned his BA in political science from Loyola University in New Orleans and lives in northeast Ohio.
Brandon Blue, MD, is an assistant professor at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL. His clinical interests include treatment of plasma cell disorders and evaluation of patients pre and post bone marrow transplant. His research interests include reducing health disparities and improving health outcomes for plasma cell dyscrasias. Dr. Blue recently completed a Blood and Marrow Transplant and Cellular Immunotherapy Fellowship at Moffitt Cancer Center. He completed an Internal Medicine Residency in the Department of Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, and a Hematology/Oncology Fellowship in the Department of Medicine at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. He earned his MD at Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN.
Michael Bauer, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department Biomedical Informatics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, AR. He specializes in the use of extremely large heterogeneous datasets, coined as Big Data. His work focuses specifically on furthering the understanding of cancer biology with the inclusion of multiple types of molecular data to get a more complete picture of cancer biology. Dr. Bauer has a strong interest in cancer-related research that addresses the ever-growing disparity observed in rural and minority communities. Recent work has involved investigating the largely unexplored process of alternative splicing of mRNA and its role in myeloma, which is associated with adverse survival and identified a potential ultra-high-risk group of myeloma patients. Other work in myeloma involves studying changes in individual cancerous plasma cells and cells in the surrounding microenvironment. The goal is to determine a mechanistic explanation of how the microenvironment can promote the transition of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance and smoldering myeloma into myeloma and relapse, which will allow for the development of more effective therapies.
Gareth Morgan, MD, PhD, is Director of Multiple Myeloma Research at NYU Langone Perlmutter Cancer Center in New York, NY. He is an internationally recognized clinician-scientist in the molecular genetics of blood cell cancers and myeloma treatment. He has a particular focus on diagnostic prevention and treatment strategies for high-risk and relapsed/refractory myeloma. Dr. Morgan is doing influential work on the characterization of the myeloma genome, defining specific subsets of the disease that have prognostic importance, and developing personalized therapeutic strategies targeted to each subtype. He is also engaged in advanced research in molecular diagnostics, drug development, and clinical trials. His research aims to cure myeloma and to reduce side effects by targeting treatment to the biology underlying each patient’s cancer. Prior to leading the Perlmutter Cancer Center’s myeloma program, Dr. Morgan was Professor of Medicine and Director of the Myeloma Institute at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Professor of Hematology and Director of the Centre for Myeloma Research at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and The Institute of Cancer Research in London, Europe’s largest comprehensive cancer institute. He is also a founding director of the European Myeloma Network and has authored more than 500 peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Morgan received his doctorate on the genetics of leukemia from the University of London in 1991 and his bachelor of medicine in 1981 from the Welsh National School of Medicine. His post graduate medical training was completed in Wales and at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School in London.
Nicole Gormley, MD, is the Acting Division Director for the Division of Hematologic Malignancies II at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Gormley joined the FDA in 2011 and previously served as a clinical reviewer and the Multiple Myeloma Clinical Team Lead. While in these roles, she has actively engaged with the multiple myeloma community on the development of novel endpoints, including minimal residual disease, and methods to address racial disparities. Dr. Gormley completed fellowship training in hematology and critical care at the National Institutes of Health and served as the Deputy Clinical Director at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute prior to joining the Food and Drug Administration.
Pritesh Patel, MD, is the assistant director of Blood & Marrow Transplantation at UI Health. Dr. Patel's clinical practice focuses on patients with multiple myeloma and patients with blood cancers undergoing stem cell/bone marrow transplant. His clinical research focuses on improving outcomes of stem cell/bone marrow transplantation patients. His clinical work has focused on patients with multiple myeloma and those with hematologic malignancies undergoing stem cell transplantation. Dr. Patel has had an interest in the analysis of clinical outcomes of patients undergoing stem cell transplantation. For example, Dr. Patel’s team has analyzed the outcomes of African American patients who underwent autologous stem cell transplant for multiple myeloma and were able to show at least equivalent outcomes in these patients. Subsequently, an updated analysis has shown, for the first time, that African Americans have superior survival to other groups after autologous transplant. His was the first group to show that myeloma patients with renal impairment have superior treatment free survival as compared to patients with normal renal function when undergoing autologous stem cell transplant. Dr. Patel has developed several clinical trials with the focus on reducing disease relapse after stem cell transplantation. Over the last 6 years, he has developed expertise in clinical and translational investigation in hematology. Dr. Patel received his MD from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom, completed his residency and internship at John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County, and his fellowship at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Dr. Marinac is a Member of Faculty at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School and Director of Population Sciences and Health Disparities Research in Dana-Farber’s Blood Cancer Prevention Program. Much of Dr. Marinac’s current work is focused on identifying and testing early detection and prevention strategies for multiple myeloma, which is an understudied and incurable malignancy that poses a significant personal, financial, and public health burden. Dr. Marinac is a co-leader of the PROMISE Study, which is a nationwide initiative that is screening individuals at high risk for multiple myeloma precursor conditions to identify new disease prevention strategies.
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