A research team led by scientists at the National Cancer Institute has
revealed that the oncogene c-maf may play a major
role in the development of many cases of multiple myeloma, an incurable blood
cancer (Cancer Cell. 2004;5:191-200).
Although the c-maf gene is translocated in
only 5% to 10% of multiple myelomas, the researchers screened 26 multiple
myeloma bone marrow samples from patients and found that c-maf was expressed in half the samples. Normal plasma cells did not
express this gene. They found that expression of c-maf stimulates
tumor cell proliferation and attachment to structural elements within the
bone marrow, and that inhibiting c-maf in myeloma
cells blocked tumor cell formation in mice. Such findings suggest that c-maf may provide a new target for future therapies.
Hampton T. Multiple Myeloma Discovery. JAMA. 2004;291(12):1434. doi:10.1001/jama.291.12.1434-d