by Prof. Dr. Dr. Sonja Loges and Dr. Isabel Ben Batalla – II. Medical Clinic and Institute of Tumor Biology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE)
The aim of our Personalized Oncology Lab is to study and unravel novel mechanisms of tumor-stroma interactions in solid and hematologic malignancies. A central focus of our studies lies on dissecting the cross-talk of tumor cells with bone-marrow-derived cells both at the site of primary tumors and within the bone marrow.
Within the µBone program, we are focused on the analysis of the role of TAM receptors in multiple myeloma. Myeloma bone disease is a devastating complication of multiple myeloma. More than 80% patients suffer from destructive bone lesions leading to fractures, mobility issues and severe pain, the main causes of disability and morbidity in multiple myeloma patients. Despite significant advances in the treatment of multiple myeloma, the disease remains incurable in the majority of patients. Thus, the discovery of novel mechanisms promoting myeloma and its associated bone disease are still urgently needed.
Therefore, to investigate the myeloma-induced osteoclast activation and their immune-modulatory functions is our main priority. Every day we come to work with the hope to enable the difficult transition of knowledge acquired within research, towards the benefit of the patient. We feel this to be an essential step, where all the members of our team put our effort, eagerly waiting to achieve the final goal of developing new therapies and improving the wellness of patients.
Thereby, we aim at identifying novel targets potentially useful to improve anti-myeloma therapies alone and in conjunction with established therapies with a strong emphasis on personalized drug-based cancer therapy.
We are grateful to be part of the µBone program, with its great infrastructure and close, high-quality collaboration providing the perfect framework to intensify our research while at the same time supporting other specialists with our expertise, fueling novel therapy strategies that can hopefully soon be translated into the clinic and used for the benefit of the patients.