Mould by-product could lead to new myeloma drug

In collaboration with the Press Association

Researchers have found that chaetocin, a by-product of a common wood mould, could provide the starting point for the development of new treatments for multiple myeloma, a form of bone marrow cancer.

Presenting their preliminary findings at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting, researchers from the Mayo Clinic Cancer Centre revealed that studies have shown chaetocin to be more effective at killing multiple myeloma cells in the laboratory than drugs which are currently in use.

The research also revealed that chaetocin seems to work in a different way to traditional myeloma therapies.

Oncologist and lead investigator Dr Keith Bible commented that the team had observed "a number of fascinating findings".

"In addition to observing many favourable aspects of chaetocin, we discovered some avenues for further research into other possible anti-myeloma agents," he revealed.

But the team pointed out that the work was still at an early stage.

"Much more research needs to be done," says Jennifer Tibodeau, Mayo post-doctorate fellow and presenter of the study, "but we are hopeful that chaetocin may some day provide needed help to our patients."

There are around 3,000 new cases of multiple myeloma each year in the UK.

Find out more about myeloma treatment on CancerHelp UK