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Multiple myeloma Copyright: Edwards Group 2013
MMP-9 (red) expression near active osteoclasts (green) in the bone marrow microenvironment.

Multiple myeloma is an incurable form of cancer, where B-cell-derived myeloma cells invade and disrupt bone homeostasis, causing loss of bone mass, fractures and considerable pain. These myeloma cells engage in a vicious cycle with the bone microenvironment, promoting inflammatory signalling and recruiting bone-resorbing osteoclasts, while suppressing osteoblast differentiation.
The Edwards group has recently published evidence that production of a protein called adiponectin is altered in the bone in patients who progress to myeloma, and that drugs influencing adiponectin provide a novel avenue for therapy. Similarly, we are looking at the roles of other proteins that modify the bone microenvironment, such as MMP-9 (see image), and developing in vitro and in vivo model systems to test novel treatments which target these pathways.