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Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer CenterVanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center


Claire M. Edwards, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor of Cancer Biology

Contact Information:

Vanderbilt University Medical Center
1235 MRB IV
Nashville, TN 1235 37232-0575

Research Specialty

The host bone marrow microenvironment in multiple myeloma

Research Description

Research in our laboratory is focused upon the critical role of the bone marrow microenvironment in the growth and development of multiple myeloma, and the associated bone disease. Multiple myeloma is the second most common adult hematological malignancy. One of the major clinical features is the development of a unique osteolytic bone disease, characterized by progressive and devastating bone destruction. Myeloma cells are located close to sites of active bone resorption, and are ideally placed to interact with cells of the bone microenvironment, including osteoclasts and osteoblasts. The detailed molecular mechanisms underlying myeloma bone disease remain unknown, however, more recently, our understanding of the biology of myeloma bone disease has increased and it has become clear that whilst the osteoclast is the major destructive cell in myeloma bone disease, a major component of this bone disease is a lack of new bone formation, which is not restored by inhibitors of osteoclastic bone resorption. Our research is focused upon studying the host bone marrow microenvironment; identifying the complex molecular mechanisms which mediate both the growth and survival of myeloma cells within the bone marrow, and the development of myeloma bone disease. We use a combination of in vitro cellular and molecular approaches with a murine model of myeloma which enables us to investigate molecular mechanisms and identify potential therapeutic targets in vivo.