The Paula and Rodger Riney Foundation sustains momentum in multiple myeloma research.

The Paula and Rodger Riney Foundation sustains momentum in multiple myeloma research.

Multiple myeloma treatments have significantly improved over the past two decades, thanks in part to the driving engine of transformational philanthropy. This is particularly true at Dana-Farber, where physician-scientists have developed new tools to address historically intractable cancers like multiple myeloma, a rare cancer of the bone marrow. Through revolutionary basic, translational, and clinical research, Dana-Farber researchers have transformed a multiple myeloma diagnosis—now patients often live three to five times longer than they might have expected only two decades ago. Despite this tremendous progress, there is still much work to be done, as multiple myeloma cells grow resistant over time to even the most potent medicines.

New treatments are developed through an arduous process beginning at the laboratory bench and ending years later with drug delivery at a patient’s bedside. What propels therapies through this pipeline is philanthropy. Paula and Rodger Riney of St. Louis, who in 2019, through their Foundation, made the single largest award supporting multiple myeloma research in Dana-Farber history, understand the distinctive power that philanthropy holds. The Paula and Rodger Riney Foundation has been a dedicated supporter of Dana-Farber and with their latest grant of more than $1.5 million has cumulatively contributed more than $60 million to the Institute.

“We are in awe of what Dana-Farber has achieved in multiple myeloma care over the past two decades,” said Rodger Riney. “The future holds so much promise. We are proud to continue supporting research that will bring forth new treatment options for multiple myeloma patients.”

The Riney Foundation’s most recent grant funds a project led by Carl Novina, MD, PhD, investigating a transcription factor called NFκB that binds to DNA to turn on the genes that produce antibodies. Abnormal NFκB regulation is a common attribute of several cancers including multiple myeloma. Novina’s team is identifying natural RNAs that bind to NFκB and is studying their effect on NFκB function. Moreover, these RNAs will be used to build novel RNA-based therapies that mediate NFκB destruction that could be developed into more durable therapies to combat drug resistance.

 “New therapies are essential to continue making progress against cancers,” said Novina. “Committed supporters like The Riney Foundation are key to expanding our research to identify new options that can make a difference in patients’ lives.”

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