September 20, 2011

John Theurer Cancer Center Is One Of The First Clinical Trial Sites Participating In Landmark Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation Study

Multicenter 1000-Patient Trial Initiated to Accelerate Development of Personalized Treatments for Multiple Myeloma

The John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, a top 50 U.S. News best hospital for cancer, is one of the first four clinical sites enrolling patients in a landmark study designed to uncover the molecular segments and variations of multiple myeloma. The study is the centerpiece of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation´s (MMRF) Personalized Medicine Initiative, CoMMpass (Relating Clinical Outcomes in MM to Personal Assessment of Genetic Profile), aimed to accelerate translational research into therapeutic breakthroughs for patients.

“Over the past decade the multiple myeloma community has made significant progress developing therapies that extend survival and improve quality of life,” said David S. Siegel, M.D., Ph.D., Chief, Multiple Myeloma, John Theurer Cancer Center and a Principal Investigator of the study, “This study is designed to build upon our most recent discovery — the completion of the first genomic portrait of multiple myeloma. We hope to gain a greater understanding of the mechanisms of the disease to develop personalized treatments for our patients.”

The study will enroll at least 1,000 newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients who have not yet initiated therapy for their disease. Researchers will track patients from initial diagnosis through their course of treatment, over a minimum of 5 years, and conduct sequential tissue sampling to identify how a patient´s molecular profile may affect his or her clinical progression and individual response to treatment.

“The John Theurer Cancer Center is committed to participating in clinical trials that may contribute to the development of more targeted treatments for patients,” said Andrew L. Pecora, M.D., F.A.C.P., C.P.E., Chief Innovations Officer and Professor and Vice President of Cancer Services, John Theurer Cancer Center.  “We are pleased to collaborate with the MMRF on this important research initiative.”

The MMRF plans to expand the network of academic and community cancer centers enrolling patients for the study. The current participating sites also include Virginia Cancer Specialists in Fairfax, Virginia; Waverly Hematology Oncology in Cary, NC; and Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. For more information about this clinical trial at the John Theurer Cancer Center, please call 201-996-5900.

About Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma is the second most common blood cancer. Multiple myeloma cannot be cured, but new treatments continue to be evaluated in research studies, and substantial improvements in treatment have been made over the past few years, allowing many individuals to live longer, healthier lives with the disease.

About the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center Division of Multiple Myeloma

John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center is among the nation´s top 50 U.S. News and World Report Best Hospitals for cancer — the only cancer in New Jersey with this designation. The Multiple Myeloma Division is one of only a few facilities in the United States to offer specialized expertise in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of multiple myeloma, a type of cancer that strikes the blood system.

The team is led by internationally-recognized experts David Siegel, M.D., Ph.D., chief, multiple myeloma and David Vesole, M.D., Ph.D., co-chief and director of research. For nearly five years, the John Theurer Cancer Center has been a member of the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC), a unique research model that was developed to accelerate the development of novel, cutting-edge multiple myeloma treatments. Thirteen world-renowned academic institutions comprise the MMRC, collaborating on research to develop novel and combination treatments for patients with multiple myeloma. For more information please visit to

About the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium

The Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) is a 509(a)3 non-profit organization that integrates leading academic institutions to accelerate drug development in multiple myeloma. It is led from MMRC offices in Norwalk, Conn., and comprises 16 member institutions. Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center at Dallas, City of Hope, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Emory University's Winship Cancer Institute, John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Mayo Clinic, Ohio State University, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Sarah Cannon Research Institute, University Health Network (Princess Margaret Hospital), University of California-San Francisco, University of Chicago, University of Michigan, Virginia Cancer Specialists, and Washington University in St. Louis.

The MMRC was founded in 2004 by Kathy Giusti, a myeloma patient, and with the help of the scientific community. The MMRC is a sister organization to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), the world's leading funder of multiple myeloma research. The MMRC is widely recognized as an optimal research model to rapidly address critical challenges in drug development and to explore opportunities in the today's most promising research areas in genomics, compound validation, and clinical trials. The MMRC is the only consortium to join academic institutions through membership agreements, customized IT systems, and an integrated tissue bank. For more information, please visit


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