On the trail of malignant plasma cells

Alexander Leipold investigates the extramedullary multiple myeloma

Multiple myeloma is a rare form of cancer characterized by malignant plasma cells growing in the bone marrow. However, the plasma cells can also spread outside the bone marrow, a condition called extramedullary multiple myeloma. This type of myeloma is less likely to be cured and more likely to become resistant to treatment.

But how do plasma cells grow outside the bone marrow? In his project at the Single-Cell Center Würzburg, Alexander Leipold is investigating the molecular adaptations that allow these cells to thrive. Leipold, who is a PhD student at the Helmholtz Institute Würzburg (HIRI), is using single-cell genomics to study biopsies from patients. A better understanding of these molecular changes could improve patient prognosis in the future.

HIRI group leader Emmanuel Saliba and Leo Rasche from the University Hospital Würzburg are also involved in the project.