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Cedars-Sinai Joins Blood Cancer Research Team

Ronald Paquette, MD, Clinical Director of the Blood & Marrow Transplant Program, and the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute recently were accepted as members of the Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Research Consortium.

A computer illustration of red blood cells.

The group, a multi-institutional nonprofit consortium of laboratory and clinical scientists from 11 institutions, is funded by the National Cancer Institute. It coordinates and performs research into the genetic and cellular mechanisms of the Philadelphia Chromosome (Ph)-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN).

MPNs are rare, chronic blood cancers in which the bone marrow—where most blood cell production occurs—does not function properly. The cancers, which affect at least 300,000 people in the United States, worsen over time and are more common in older adults. Mutations, or changes in certain genes, are believed to cause the disorders.

Myelofibrosis, one the most aggressive types of myeloproliferative disorder, can be cured only by performing a bone marrow transplant, a treatment provided by the Blood & Marrow Transplant Programat Cedars-Sinai.

Ronald Paquette, MD

"I'm pleased to join the world-recognized experts who are treating myeloproliferative disorders, and to have the opportunity to address the needs of this patient population," Paquette said. "As the only member institution in Southern California, Cedars-Sinai hopes to attract patients who want to receive cutting-edge care for their myeloproliferative disorder and contribute to advancing the field."

The investigators are working to develop new treatment strategies that will improve the survival of MPN patients. In addition to performing fundamental research on the blood cancers, the consortium has built a unique clinical group that tests a wide and growing range of potential MPN treatments. Cedars-Sinai is now a designated site for MPN clinical trials.

"Cedars-Sinai's membership in the MPN-RC furthers our mission to provide the best care to patients, while promoting the highest levels of discovery," said Dan Theodorescu, MD, PhD, director of the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute.