The National Cancer Center (President: Hitoshi Nakagama) and Celaid Therapeutics (President: Nobuyuki Arakawa) have signed a collaborative research agreement on the use of ex vivo expansion technology of hematopoietic stem cells for multiple myeloma.
Multiple myeloma, in which plasma cells in the blood become cancerous, is a disease that is difficult to cure completely, with most patients relapsing within five years after treatment. During autologous transplantation for multiple myeloma, it is difficult to eliminate the risk of myeloma cell contamination of peripheral blood mobilization grafts, and past studies have reported an association between the degree of myeloma cell contamination and the risk of relapse.
Sporadic attempts to remove myeloma cells from grafts have been reported, but no company has successfully developed a cell therapy product.
The purpose of the collaborative research by the National Cancer Center Hospital East (Hospital Director: Atsushi Otsu, Co-Principal Investigator: Junichiro Yuda, Medical Director, Department of Hematology/Oncology) and Celaiid Therapeutics is as follows:
(1) Verification of basic technology for ex vivo expansion of human hematopoietic stem cells while removing myeloma cells from the peripheral blood of multiple myeloma patients
(2) Establishment of a preclinical Proof Of Concept (POC) through experiments on the engraftment of myeloma cell-eliminated human hematopoietic stem cells in a mouse model.
HSCT products with myeloma cells removed have the potential to prevent relapse or prolong the time to relapse after transplantation, and are expected to become a new treatment option in autologous transplantation for patients suffering from multiple myeloma.