About Erasmus Medical Center (EMC), Department of Haematology

The Haematology department of Erasmus Medical Center (EMC) in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, led by Prof Dr Pieter Sonneveld, focused the past five years on three specific fields. The first field of concern is the clinical validation of novel drugs in MM treatment. For the clinical validation of novel drugs, clinical trials were initiated, aimed at testing foremost the efficacy of proteasome inhibitors in MM patients. Intensive bio-banking has been integrated into these clinical trials, and as a result, RNA and DNA are available for many patients who have participated in these clinical trials.

Furthermore in terms of drug validation, recently, a number of relapse studies have been performed or are due to start in the coming year. The second area of research focuses on the molecular characterization of MM and has resulted in a large gene expression dataset. Based on this dataset, a risk classification of MM was developed, as well as a gene signature (SKY92) to predict high-risk disease. This signature is included in the MMprofiler.

Recently, next generation sequencing (whole exome sequencing and RNAseq, Illumina based sequencing by synthesis) was initiated in the department of Hematology. The group of Prof. P. Sonneveld is now routinely performing this technique. Finally, the last research area of the Hematology department at Erasmus Medical Center is the planning of treatment to reach the highest quality of life and maximum gain in survival.

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