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Myeloma Crowd Radio: Michael O'Dwyer, MD, National University of Ireland

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Sugar molecules could act as a smoke screen for multiple myeloma cells, essentially hiding them from the immune system.  The surface sugars, called sialic acids, can mark the cancer cells as “self” cells, giving the immune system the signal to ignore them. 

Dr. Michael O'Dwyer is Director of the Blood Cancer Network Ireland and Professor of Hematology at the National University of Ireland Galway. Dr. O'Dwyer has expertise in the glycosylation process as it relates to multiple myeloma. The glycosylation process (or the reaction when carbohydrates is attached to other molecules) is a process that produces DNA, RNA and proteins. This normal process is altered in multiple myeloma and could cause changes in cell signaling, adhesion and drug resistance. In this show we will explore how this affects multiple myeloma, if food intake is related to the presence of sugar molecules and how it is tested for in myeloma.

In 2015, Dr. O'Dwyer received a Clinician Scientist Award worth €1.7m from the Health Research Board to establish a translational research programme in multiple myeloma at NUI Galway. This helped lead to the Blood Cancer Network, Ireland, a Science Foundation Ireland/Irish Cancer Society funded network focusing on delivery of early phase clinical trials to blood cancer patients along with establishment of a biobank and registry. 

Thanks to our episode sponsor, Takeda Oncology

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