“Multiple myeloma currently has no cure and the 5-year relative survival rate in the
United State is 55%,” he said. “Therefore, it is important to us to identify effective
therapeutic agents with anti-myeloma efficacy.”
To do that, Wang and his team are looking at new compounds from natural sources that
are harsh on the cancer cells but friendly to the normal cells.
“We are developing new models using 3D bioprinting techniques to screen drug candidates
in a more realistic platform than traditional 2D cell culture settings,” he explained.
“This phase is crucial in the development of new therapeutic strategies which will
move forward to the clinical evaluation.”
What is multiple myeloma?
Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that affects the plasma cells in bone marrow
which produce antibodies to help fight infections. In a patient with multiple myeloma,
these plasma cells begin to produce abnormal proteins that can damage bones, kidneys
and other organs.
As the cancer progresses, it can cause a range of symptoms including bone pain, fatigue,
weakness and an increased risk of infections. Current treatment for multiple myeloma
may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, bone marrow transplant
or a combination thereof. The specific approach will depend on the individual's age,
overall health and the stage of the disease.
How does multiple myeloma kill you?
Multiple myeloma can lead to various complications that can ultimately cause death
due to the damage to bones, kidneys and other organs. The abnormal proteins produced
by the cancer cells may lead to kidney failure. Multiple myeloma can also weaken the
immune system, making it difficult for the body to fight off infections that can ultimately
be fatal. In some cases, multiple myeloma can also lead to the development of secondary
cancers, such as leukemia or lymphoma.
While multiple myeloma is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition, many
people are able to manage their symptoms and live for many years with proper treatment
and care. Early detection and treatment can be important in improving the outlook
for individuals with multiple myeloma.
A commitment to research
Wang’s interest in research is inherited from and motivated by his mother, who was
a professor and researcher in the field of pharmaceutical sciences.
“The most important thing I learned from my mom about research is her dedication to
the research, which comes from her passion and commitment to the research she conducts,”
Wang is exercising his passion and commitment to research as a faculty researcher at PCOM. According to Wang, he has enjoyed what he describes as an "exceptional" research experience.
“PCOM provides internal funding and a research assistance team (research officers,
managers, technicians) to make sure my research is fully supported,” he said.
“Stay curious about the research you are interested in,” he said. “Keep your dedication
in pursuing the research outcomes, and be positive and look for alternative approaches
if the results don't meet your expectations.”