Taking control of blood cancer

Multiple myeloma is a type of blood cancer that often evades treatment. UCalgary scientist and medical oncologist Dr. Paola Neri, MD, PhD, is studying the genetic code of multiple myeloma to determine why it is resistant to many current drugs, hoping to find new, better treatments for fighting the disease. 

Neri has created a tissue bank that consists of bone marrow biopsies from myeloma patients. Information from these tissue samples led to a clinical trial combining two medications to treat relapsed myeloma patients. Her groundbreaking work has led to a better understanding of DNA repair defects in tumour cells. 

Neri was recently awarded the Kenneth Anderson Young Investigator Award for her commitment to bringing basic research to the bedside. A mentee of Dr. Anderson, Neri was inspired by his dedication to research and patient care. “From Dr. Anderson, I learned the impact that basic research may have on a patient’s life.”

The new Calgary Cancer Centre will make it easier for Neri to take her research to the next level and provide world-class services for cancer patients. “To me, OWN. CANCER means taking control of your cancer, knowing that all the people involved with you in this complex journey are committed to improving clinical care through dedication to research and high standard medical practice.”