Brendan M Weiss

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Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Department: Medicine

Contact information
Abramson Cancer Center
Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, West Pavilion, 2nd Floor
3400 Civic Center Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 1-800-789-7366
BS (Biology)
Bucknell University, 1993.
MD (Medicine)
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD, 1998.
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Description of Itmat Expertise

-Developing and testing novel biomarkers in the myeloma precursor states (MGUS and smoldering multiple myeloma)
-Performing clinical trials for the early intervention of myeloma
-Identifying novel targets for the early intervention of myeloma

Description of Research Expertise

Current research
Multiple myeloma (MM) is an incurable malignancy of plasma cells. Previously, I established that myeloma is virtually always preceded by a precursor state, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). (Weiss, Blood 2009). Although there have been significant gains in the survival of MM over the past 15-20 years, understanding the progression from its precursor state and developing interventions to prevent of delay to progression to MM would be significant advances. My primary research focus is on the myeloma precursor states, MGUS and smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM). To that end, I am interested in:

-Developing and testing novel biomarkers in the myeloma precursor states
-Performing clinical trials for the early intervention of myeloma
-Identifying novel targets for the early intervention of myeloma

I am also interested in conducting clinical trials for newly diagnosed and relapsed MM, AL amyloidosis and Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia. Current clinical trials at Penn can be found at:

Past research
Myeloma is virtually always preceded by MGUS. A fundamental question in the pathogenesis of myeloma has been: are all myelomas preceded by MGUS? Utilizing the Department of Defense Serum Repository, I obtained pre-diagnostic serum on 30 patients treated for multiple myeloma. In 27 of 30 patients (90%) a pre-existing MGUS was detected by serum protein electrophoresis, and immunofixation electrophoresis or and/or serum free light chain analysis. (Weiss, Blood 2009)

African-Americans have similar outcomes when treated with autologous stem cell transplantation. Minorities often experience inferior outcomes in the treatment of many malignant diseases. As MM is the most common hematologic malignancy in African-Americans, I performed one of the first studies comparing the outcomes of African Americans with MM undergoing autologous stem cell transplantation, where I was able to show equivalent outcomes between the races. I subsequently participated in a large registry study that confirmed these findings. (Verma Am J Hematol 2008, Hari P Biol Blood Marrow Transplantation 2010).

African-Americans with MGUS have significantly different prognostic biomarkers. Several biomarkers are helpful in determining prognosis in patients with MGUS, however they have been derived from predominantly Caucasian populations. I performed the first study evaluating the newest biomarker, the serum free light chain assay, in an African-American population. I demonstrated that African-Americans have a higher frequency of abnormal serum free light chain ratios as well as confirmed the lower frequency of non-IgG MGUS and lower monoclonal protein concentrations. (Weiss Am J Hematol 2011)

Selected Publications

Weiss BM: Multiethnic myeloma. Blood 121(16): 3062-4, Apr 2013.

Weiss BM, Hebreo J, Cordaro DV, Roschewski MJ, Baker TP, Abbott KC, Olson SW: Increased Serum Free Light Chains Precede the Presentation of Immunoglobulin Light Chain Amyloidosis. J Clin Oncol 32(25): 2699-704, Sep 2014.

Weiss BM, Abadie J, Verma P, Howard RS, Kuehl WM: A monoclonal gammopathy precedes multiple myeloma in most patients. Blood 113(22): 5418-5422, May 2009.

Tan E, Mena-Gonzalez E, Weiss BM, Choyke P, Landgren O: Current and future imaging modalities for multiple myeloma and its precursor states. Leukemia and Lymphoma 86(6): 1630-40, Sep 2011.

Weiss BM, Minter A, Abadie J, Howard R, Ascencao J, Schechter GP, Kuehl M, Landgren O: Patterns of Monoclonal Immunoglobulins and Serum Free Light Chains Are Significantly Different in African-American Compared to Caucasian MGUS Patients. American Journal of Hematology 86(6): 475-8, Jun 2011.

Minter AR, Simpson H, Weiss BM, Landgren O: Bone Disease From Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance to Multiple Myeloma: Pathogenesis, Interventions, and Future Opportunities. Seminars in Hematology 48(1): 55-65, Jan 2011.

Waxman AJ, Mink PJ, Devesa SS, Anderson WF, Weiss BM, Kristinsson SY, McGlynn KA, Landgren O: Racial disparities in incidence and outcome in multiple myeloma: a population-based study. Blood 116(25): 5501-5506, Dec 2010.

Waxman AJ, Kuehl M, Balakumaran A, Weiss B, Landgren O: Smoldering (asymptomatic) multiple myeloma: revisiting the clinical dilemma and looking into the future. Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma & Leukemia 10(4): 248-57, Aug 2010.

Weiss BM, Kuehl WM: Advances in understanding monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance as a precursor of multiple myeloma. Expert Review Of Hematology 3(2): 165-174, Apr 2010.

Hari PN, Majhail NS, Zhang MJ, Hassebroek A, Siddiqui F, Ballen K, Bashey A, Bird J, Freytes CO, Gibson J, Hale G, Holmberg L, Kamble R, Kyle RA, Lazarus HM, LeMaistre CF, Loberiza F, Maiolino A, McCarthy PL, Milone G, Omondi N, Reece DE, Seftel M, Trigg M, Vesole D, Weiss B, Wiernik P, Lee SJ, Rizzo JD, Mehta P.: Race and outcomes of autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation for multiple myeloma. Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation 16(3): 395-402, Mar 2010.

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Last updated: 10/30/2014
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