Irene Ghobrial, MD
Against the backdrop of the online crowd-sourcing initiative PCROWD and other research by faculty investigators on precursor conditions that may develop into leukemia, myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), or multiple myeloma, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has opened the Center for the Prevention of Progression (CPOP). The multidisciplinary clinic will provide patients with precursor conditions—such as clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, lower-risk MDS, and smoldering multiple myeloma—with a roadmap for clinical care and monitoring, while aiding scientists in developing targeted therapies that could halt the progression of precursor conditions before systemic disease or organ damage occurs.
Irene Ghobrial, MD, of Dana-Farber, will serve as Director of the Center. She specializes in research on precursor hematologic malignancies, specifically monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance and smoldering myeloma.
Goals of the Center
The emphasis of the Center will be on the early detection of progression from the precursor state to a malignant state as well as on research aimed at developing biomarkers to identify patients who are more likely to develop a further malignancy. Researchers will plan clinical trials to evaluate methods of intercepting precursor conditions before they lead to overt cancer or other complications.
Patients will be seen by physicians who specialize in these conditions and who will arrange consultations with cardiologists, psychologists, social workers, genetic counselors, and other practitioners to help manage their conditions over time, as needed.
The clinic will also be a resource for healthy individuals who are at high risk as close family members of patients with blood cancers. In addition to those with inherited or germline predispositions, some groups are at particularly high risk: people 70 years and older are at increased risk for clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential, for example, and monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance is 3 times more common in African Americans. ■