The Boston-based Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has announced a $16.5 million gift from the Paula and Rodger Riney Foundation in St. Louis to launch a research initiative focused on multiple myeloma.
With the goal of improving outcomes and accelerating understanding of the underlying biology of the disease, which forms in plasma cells, the Riney Family Multiple Myeloma Initiative will provide support to Dana-Farber researchers and clinicians over the next two years working to identify and target genomic and epigenomic abnormalities linked to the biological determinants of disease behavior in general as well as in certain high-risk multiple myeloma sub groups; develop novel therapeutics that target both tumor cells and the host immune microenvironment, enabling more durable immune-based combination therapies; and create infrastructure for big data management and open access research resources.
The founder of discount brokerage firm Scottrade, Rodger O. Riney was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2015 and treated at the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, to which the Rineys gave $20 million in 2018. Ken Anderson, program director of Dana-Farber’s Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center and LeBow Institute for Myeloma Therapeutics and Kraft Family Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, joined Riney’s care team as an advisor in 2018.
“With their tremendous gift, we have an unprecedented opportunity to develop highly personalized novel targeted and immune treatments for patients facing the most challenging forms of this disease,” said Anderson. “Their extraordinary support will foster collaborative efforts to benefit patients and their families worldwide.”
“As a myeloma patient, you are very aware of the groundbreaking work being done at Dana-Farber in multiple myeloma,” said Riney. “Dana-Farber is an institution we want to invest in, given its impressive track record in improving myeloma treatment. Our hope is that this gift will inspire others to support Dana-Farber’s researchers and clinicians to extend survivorship and, ultimately, find a cure.”
“Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to Establish Riney Family Multiple Myeloma Initiative.” Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Press Release 01/13/2020.