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Bristol-Myers Squibb Announces Opening of Expanded Access Program for Elotuzumab
Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) has opened an expanded access protocol for its monoclonal antibody elotuzumab in combination with Revlimid® and dexamethasone. Expanded access is a process regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that allows manufacturers to provide investigational new drugs to patients with serious diseases or conditions who cannot participate in a clinical trial. ?While data from a large, phase III randomized trial comparing elotuzumab plus Rev/dex versus Rev/dex alone is eagerly anticipated, in the interim patients may now enroll at an available site for access to this new combination therapy. The first 5 of a planned 50-60 sites are now enrolling patients with myeloma that has relapsed after 1-3 prior treatments. For eligibility criteria and site information CLICK HERE.

How to Be Safer as You Live Longer: A Patient Checklist
Effective new therapies have extended the lives of many myeloma patients. But with that wonderful benefit comes the need to stay vigilant about disease and treatment side effects, as well as health challenges facing us all as we age. In his blog this week, IMF Chairman Dr. Brian Durie offers an awareness checklist for patients. To read CLICK HERE.

Calling All Nurses: Symposium on Nursing Implications Offered in Orlando
Nurses – so essential to optimal patient outcomes – are invited to attend the IMF’s Nurse Leadership Board’s symposium, “Case Studies in Myeloma: Nursing Implications of Evolving Treatment Paradigms.” The nurse’s roles as patient manager, advocate, and educator are integrated into this engaging 1.5 CNE learning opportunity to be held April 23 in Orlando, FL. To register, CLICK HERE.

Knowledge Is Power - Especially When Choosing What to Eat
IMF Chairman Dr. Brian Durie offers his food recommendations for cancer patients in his blog this week. As many know, toxic chemicals found in processed food or on fruits and vegetables exposed to certain pesticides can be dangerous. Becoming aware and protecting yourself against these things are key, and a few new cookbooks can even help further with that. CLICK HERE to read Dr. Durie’s blog.

Can Polio or Other Viruses Treat Myeloma?
IMF Chairman Dr. Brian Durie responds in his blog this week to a recent 60 Minutes segment on using the polio virus to treat cancer. Myeloma patients may wonder if this is an option for them, but as Dr. Durie explains, the polio virus needs to be contained within the shell of a solid tumor to be effective.

FDA Grants Priority Review for Kyprolis® in Relapsed Patients
There was good news for myeloma patients this week as the FDA accepted the supplemental New Drug Application of Kyprolis (carfilzomib) for treatment by injection. The application applies to those with relapsed myeloma who have received at least one prior therapy. As part of the acceptance, the FDA granted Kyprolis priority review with a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) target action date of July 26, 2015.

South Dakota and West Virginia Join the Fight For Oral Parity
Governor Dennis Daugaard from South Dakota and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin from West Virginia signed SB 101 and HB 2493, respectively, earlier this week, bringing the official tally of states with oral parity laws to 37. This is a significant victory for patients and their families and will ensure that thousands will now have access to the oral anticancer medications they need. The IMF thanks Governors Daugaard and Tomblin for their leadership on this critical issue, and we will continue to provide updates on the remaining states with active oral parity campaigns: Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota and Pennsylvania.

The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) Announces Another Successful Myeloma Awareness Month (#MAM)
The IMF launched March as “Myeloma Awareness Month” in 2009. Fueled by the organization’s key message that “knowledge is power,” the IMF this year spread information about the disease through local community events, social media campaigns, story sharing, and official proclamations. Advocates across 28 states, cities, and counties obtained proclamations, and Representative Brian Higgins (D-NY) introduced a federal resolution to recognize March 2015 as “National Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month.”

Ixazomib Clinical Trial Seeking Myeloma Patients
Takeda Oncology is recruiting myeloma patients to participate in a multicenter, open-label study of ixazomib, its investigational oral proteasome inhibitor. Eligible patients have not received prior systemic treatment for myeloma and are ineligible for high-dose therapy stem cell transplantation due to age or comorbid diseases, or have relapsed/refractory myeloma. Ixazomib was granted orphan drug designation in myeloma in both the U.S. and Europe in 2011, and is the first oral proteasome inhibitor to enter Phase 3 clinical trials.

The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) Secures the Introduction of a Federal Resolution Recognizing March 2015 as “National Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month”

Myeloma Awareness Month is wrapping up this year with the introduction of a national resolution (H. Res. 174) to designate March as "National Myeloma Awareness Month.” The resolution would add to the immense successes of patient advocates across the country who have already received proclamations for their individual states, counties, and cities. The resolution sponsor, Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY), has been a strong ally of the IMF for the past several years, and has also been the lead sponsor of the Cancer Drug Coverage Parity Act since its inception in 2009. The IMF thanks Rep. Higgins for his leadership, along with the two other original sponsors, Rep. Eleanor Norton (D-NY) and Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL).

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