Database aims to speed discoveries for blood cancer treatments

GenoSpace has landed a partnership with the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation to build a portal and create an accessible database, which relates clinical outcomes of patients with multiple myeloma with their genetic profiles. Academic and industry researchers could tap the data set to seek individualized treatments, diagnostics and targets for new therapies against cancer.

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, a nonprofit group that has raised more than $200 million and focuses on funding research of new treatments, last year kicked off a study to collect clinical and molecular-profiling data on 1,000 newly diagnosed patients. The plan is to collect data on the patients for at least 5 years, including data on treatment regimens and disease progression.

To make sure that the data get in the right hands, the bioinformatics startup GenoSpace has the big job of building the platform for researchers and patients to access information. The foundation wants pharma researchers, academics, government-affiliated centers and others to tap the information from its major study. The idea is to speed discoveries in the hunt for new treatments for multiple myeloma, a plasma cancer that leads to overproduction of blood cells and bone tumors. 

"The comprehensive data generated from the … study will be an invaluable resource for multiple myeloma research, providing a breadth of clinical and molecular data never before captured in this disease," stated Kathy Giusti, a multiple myeloma patient who founded the foundation and serves as its CEO. "Conveying this data openly to clinicians and researchers in pursuit of individualized treatment approaches is critical to our mission."

For its part, Cambridge, MA-based GenoSpace will use its software platform to support the patient and researcher portals for the foundation's data. John Quackenbush and Mick Correll of the Center for Cancer Computational Biology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute co-founded GenoSpace last year and serve as its CEO and technology chief, respectively.  

- here's the release
- see the report from Mass High Tech