CDI Hosts Colleagues at Multiple Myeloma and Lymphoma Research Symposium

The Institute for Multiple Myeloma and Lymphoma at the Hackensack Meridian Center for Discovery and Innovation (CDI) played host to world-class experts in blood cancers with the first-ever Multiple Myeloma and Lymphoma Research Symposium on April 26.

The event included colleagues from Harvard Medical School, Georgetown University, Columbia University, Tisch Cancer Institute, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Houston Methodist Cancer Center. More than 130 attended, both in-person in the CDI’s auditorium, and virtually.

“We are privileged to host these accomplished colleagues in myeloma and lymphoma research, in the interest of learning and sharing,” said Benjamin Tycko, M.D., Ph.D., member of the CDI and Professor of Medical Sciences at the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, a co-organizer of the event. “Symposia like this can be a great catalyst for new collaborations and new angles on translational research, now and into the future.”

“It’s inspiring to see how their innovative research studies have transformed the landscape of myeloma and lymphoma ,” added Rena Feinman, Ph.D., associate member of the CDI, member of John Theurer Cancer Center (JTCC), Associate Professor of the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, also a co-organizer.

“The myeloma and lymphoma programs at JTCC have become amongst the largest in the world. We have made major contributions to drug development and clinical practice,” said David Siegel, M.D., Ph.D.,Chief, Division of Multiple Myeloma, John Theurer Cancer Center, founding director of the Institute for Multiple Myeloma and Lymphoma at the CDI and Professor of medical sciences at the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, also a co-organizer. “The CDI has established an outstanding group of investigators interested in translational science around myeloma and lymphoma. Hosting this outstanding group of investigators at our recent symposium was both an honor and an opportunity to establish new collaborations as we continue to move our field forward.”

The event included talks by:

  • “The PROMISE of early detection in multiple myeloma,” was delivered by the keynote speaker, Irene Ghobrial, M.D., a professor at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School. Testing to catch the disease at early stages is crucial to survival in this disease, as in so many other tumor types, she said.
  • “Genetics-driven enhanceosome dysregulation in B-cell lymphomas,” a presentation by Laura Pasqualucci, M.D., a professor at the Institute for Cancer Genetics at Columbia University, kicked off the event. The researcher spoke of super-enhancer networks and hypermutations, and changes not just in the known gene targets, but also in the non-coding parts of the genome.
  • “Novel insights and approaches in aggressive B-cell lymphomas,” was a talk by Keiron Dunleavy, M.D., a professor of oncology and medicine at Georgetown University and Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, and director of hematological malignancies at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital. Dunleavy talked about various options for treating blood cancers like high-grade B-cell lymphomas and Burkitt Lymphoma, as well as the difference in clinical options due to the genetic differences in older and younger patients.
  • “Tumor microenvironment and therapeutic resistance in multiple myeloma,” by Jing Yang, Ph.D., an associate professor of oncology at Houston Methodist Research Institute, explored how obesity was a key driver of myeloma progression and therapeutic resistance…
  • “Promise and challenges with immunotherapy in myeloma,” was presented by Samir Parekh, M.D., a professor of medicine and of Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn Medical School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
  • “Mechanisms regulating myeloma cell dynamics in the bone marrow,” was presented by David Fooksman, Ph.D., an associate professor of pathology, microbiology and immunology, at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Closing remarks were delivered by Tycko and Feinman. An informal wine reception in the CDI lobby ended the proceedings.

Of note in attendance were: Andre Goy, MD, MS, the Chairman and Executive Director of Hackensack Meridian John Theurer Cancer Center; and Louis Weiner, M.D., director of the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The event was sponsored by Gilead Sciences (Kite Pharma) and John Theurer Cancer Center; the symposium also received funding from the Torque Foundation through a gift to Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.