Healthcare Business News

VA, cancer group team for personalized medicine research effort

By Joseph Conn
Posted: November 26, 2012 - 2:00 pm ET

The Veterans Affairs Department will participate in a longitudinal study of clinical and genetic patient data, seeking to find better treatments and a possible cure for multiple myeloma, the VA and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation announced.

The VA and the Norwalk, Conn.-based foundation have entered into a "cooperative research and development agreement" under which the VA will participate in the foundation's study—which has been under way for about a year—targeting treatment approaches for the as-yet incurable blood cancer, according to a news release.

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The study, "Relating Clinical Outcomes in MM to Personal Assessment of Genetic Profile," or CoMMpass, is expected to track 1,000 newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients for at least five years "to understand the molecular and genetic changes underpinning the evolution of the disease," according to the release.

"Participating in this important research endeavor with the MMRF is a key opportunity to contribute to the growing body of research in multiple myeloma," said principal investigator Dr. Geraldine Schechter, former chief of hematology at the VA Medical Center in Washington. "We believe that it will lead to a better understanding of the factors that influence disease progression and ultimately to improvement in patient care."

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