Roger N Pearse   Associate Professor of Medicine

Dr. Pearse’s research focuses on the pathophysiology of multiple myeloma, a malignancy of B lymphocytes and plasma cells, and the contribution of host:tumor interactions to promote myeloma growth. His laboratory has identified the Trk receptor tyrosine kinases as novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of multiple myeloma. Although these receptors are best known for their critical actions in neurons, he was the first to demonstrate that they are upregulated in myeloma, but not normal plasma cells, and that coordinate induction of Trk ligands promotes the resistance of myeloma cells to many forms of conventional chemotherapy. Most recently, Dr. Pearse has utilized his basic science observations to postulate that inhibition of Trk receptors may sensitize myeloma cells to chemotherapy. He presented his findings to Cephalon, a biotechnology company that has developed Trk kinase inhibitors, and Dr. Pearse developed and now leads an investigator-initiated, multi-institutional clinical and translational trial to evaluate these inhibitors as anti-myeloma drugs based on his laboratory findings. This trial will include correlative studies to identify patients with dysregulated Trk activation and responsiveness to kinase inhibition strategies. This work was presented at the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation Roundtable: Development of Novel Target Therapeutics, and at an NIH Symposium on “Advances in the Treatment of Metastatic Bone Cancer”. These studies are being funded by a recent Leukemia Society grant, of which he is the Principal Investigator. Dr. Pearse has received grants from the Sidney Kimmel Foundation, two grants from the Leukemia Society of American, and the new ROI from the NCI to study myeloma, and myeloma bone disease.


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