Global Research Impacts Patients Around the World
Earlier this month, we joined our global partners as part of the 6th International MPN Horizons Conference, convening MPN advocates from 33 countries to share the latest research, care standards, and current therapies. Amongst the rich medical and advocacy content presented, Kapila Viges of MPNRF co-chaired two medical sessions. The first highlighted genetic testing, disease progression, and a unique dialogue between doctor and patient on the role of transplants in MPNs. The other session focused on special populations of MPN patients, specifically young adults, pregnant women, and patients with co-morbidities, making the navigation of treatment plan a bit more challenging.
The MPN Research Foundation has a strong history with the MPN Advocates Network. We partner with patient advocates around the world to share the latest in scientific, clinical, and care standards to empower patients and clinicians around the world and build upon our global reach to fund innovative research.
The Foundation’s first internationally funded project to Richard D’ Andrea, Ph.D. in Australia to identify growth factor receptor mutations in polycythemia vera was only the beginning. Establishing a relationship with Robert Kralovics, Ph.D. and his Austrian team led to the funding in 2009 to identify new mutations in MPNs and continued related work in 2011. It was part of Dr. Kravolics and his team’s contribution to the discovery of the CALR Mutation. Also in 2009 we funded Francois Delhommeau, Ph.D. at INSERM in France to characterize novel tumor suppressor genes in MPNs.
Further investments in work by C. Arnold Spek, PhD in the Netherlands studied the role of protease-activated receptors in fibrosis. In both the Netherlands and Germany, we funded Rebekka Schneider MD PhD in 2017 and 2020 to understand underlying mechanisms of fibrotic transformation in primary myelofibrosis initiation and progression. Jean-Luc Villeval Ph.D. and his colleagues in France were funded in 2014 to study resistance of MPN hematopoietic stem cells to interferon therapy and subsequently was part of the 2017 – 2021 global MPN Interferon Initiative. Along with Isabelle Plo Ph.D. they further explored the mechanisms of action of interferon (alpha) to resistance. Steven Lane, MD in Australia and Michael Milsom Ph.D in Germany were also co-investigators with Ann Mullally, MD on a projects focused on understanding mechanisms of interferon resistance.
In 2019 Dr. Vikas Gupta in Canada led work we funded to conduct a prospective clinical study to compare stem-cell transplant versus non-transplant outcomes in high-risk MF patients when considering patient preferences for treatment group selection. In the UK, Jyoti Nangalia, MBBS, Ph.D. published work we funded revealing very early origins of driver mutations, as early as in utero, and also contributed to a separate Nature publication on when these mutations may be acquired and how they progress throughout life. MPNRF and the Ruby Red Foundation came together in 2019 to further support Belinda Guo Ph.D. in Australia to jointly fund a project to validate the potential of a platelet gene expression signature as a novel marker for progression in myeloproliferative neoplasms.
The Research Foundation’s global reach continues on behalf of all MPN patients with our valued relationships with the MPN Advocates Network and its members.