We are international
Donate
TEXT SIZE   


August 24, 2003 Myeloma Minute
08.24.03
What's News

Question of the Week

Q: What is the difference between "myeloma" and "multiple myeloma?" Is one worse than the other?

A: Your question is a common one. There is no difference between the two terms and they are used interchangeably. Because the terms myeloma and multiple myeloma are synonymous, one is not "worse" than the other. Myeloma is a cancer of bone marrow plasma cells. In the late 19th century, the term "myeloma" was used to indicate the disease, which is derived from the Greek words ";myel-"; meaning "marrow" and "-oma" meaning "tumor." Because the malignant plasma cells almost always occur in more than one location, the term multiple myeloma is sometimes used.

Malignant plasma cells sometimes grow in the form of localized tumors, called "plasmacytomas." Such plasmacytomas can be single or multiple and confined within bone marrow and bone (medullary), or can develop outside of bone in soft tissue (extramedullary). When a single plasmacytoma develops without evidence of diffuse disease, it is called a "solitary plasmacytoma." When there are multiple plasmacytomas, the patient is considered to have myeloma. Some studies have included patients with multiple plasmacytomas and no evidence of disease in the bone marrow as well as patients with diffuse disease. These studies have found that the former group has a better prognosis than those with diffuse disease.


What's New in Myeloma Research:


What's New in Clinical Trials:
  • New sites added to Open Label Multicenter Phase II REVIMID trial as of 08/20/03

  • New sites added to Phase III REVIMID study list as of 08/11/03

  • New Phase III thalidomide study taking place at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, and its Arizona and Florida satellites:
    Randomized trial of thalidomide plus zoledronic acid versus zoledronic acid alone in patients with early stage multiple myeloma. Contact: VIncent Rajkumar, MD 507-284-8430.

  • New sites added to Phase III THALOMID study list as of 08/06/03

  • New site added to Phase II Trial of VELCADE Alone and in Combination with Dexamethasone in Previously Untreated Multiple Myeloma Patients as of 08/17/03

  • New sites added to Phase III VELCADE study list as of 7/25/03

  • Phase I Trial of VELCADE and Melphalan. A prospective, open-label, safety and efficacy study of combination treatment with VELCADE and melphalan in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Investigator: James Berenson, MD 310-556-0185

  • Phase I Trial of VELCADE and Thalidomide. Phase I exploratory study of combination VELCADE and Thalidomide in refractory multiple myeloma. Investigator: Bart Barlogie, MD, PhD 501-526-CARE (2873)

  • Phase I/II Trial of VELCADE + Adriamycin + Dexamethasone. (UK only) Phase I/II study to assess the safety, efficacy, and tolerability of combination therapy with VELCADE, Adriamycin, and dexamethasone (PAD) as primary therapy for patients with multiple myeloma. Investigator: Jamie Cavanaugh, MD +440 207 601 8202

  • Myeloma Matrix (updated 08/07/03)
    The Myeloma Matrix provides updated information about drugs beginning with pre-clinical developments and tracks drugs as they proceed through Phases I – III of clinical trials, drugs that have been FDA approved, and information on trials that are being conducted by NCI- sponsored cooperative groups as well as other myeloma study groups. The online version is updated regularly. If you would like to have a printed copy, call the toll-free hotline (800) 452-2873.

  • Cancer Trials Support Unit: A Web Based System That Offers Efficient and Effective Tools for Clinical Trials Management.
    The Cancer Trials Support Unit (CTSU) is an NCI funded program to facilitate participation (by both patients and physicians) in phase III NCI sponsored Cancer treatment trials.

If you would like to browse trials currently open for enrollment, visit the Clinical Trials page of the IMF web site. Among the links, you will find CenterWatch and EmergingMed. The IMF has entered into partnerships with them to assist you in matching trials to your particular patient profile (i.e., stage of disease, previous treatment, how well you are able to carry out the activities of daily living, etc.) and by doing so, increase your chances of being eligible. You can also learn more about clinical trials by reviewing materials from the National Cancer Institute.


Advocacy Update:
Quality of Life Update:
  • The Pain of Irresponsible Pain Management
    In the past, providers worried more about possible liability for the overprescription of habit-forming narcotic medication than whether or not they were providing adequate pain management. In a turnaround of events, hospitals and physicians are now facing increased legal accountability for inadequate pain management.

  • Survivorship and the Changing Role of Palliative Care
    An NCI Benchmarks interview with two key palliative care experts at the National Cancer Institute to learn more about this changing field and its role in controlling symptoms and eliminating suffering for people with cancer.

If you have a topic of particular interest that you would like us to feature, if you are starting a support group, or if you are in a support group that is doing something to make a real difference in the lives of multiple myeloma patients and their families and friends, let us know.


Upcoming Seminars and Conferences:

Upcoming Fundraisers:

FUNdraising Made Easy
You know you want to do something, but deciding on what to do can be confusing. The IMF can help. This year, our members really rallied 'round the cause, picked up the gauntlet, and raised a lot of money for myeloma research and programs.

We are already getting calls from new members who want to join in the effort and hold an event in 2004. Suzanne Battaglia is waiting for your call. She is here to help you plan and execute your event, so please write, call or email (SBattaglia@myeloma.org) so that you can get on our Calendar of Events!

See what you can do in your community to help further the goal of finding the cure!


Exciting Opportunities
Items of Interest:
  • BANK ON A CURE®
    BANK ON A CURE is an innovative and powerful concept designed to establish a method to find new treatments for multiple myeloma and other related diseases as well as the possibility of new cures, while customizing care for current patients.
  • Myeloma Matrix
    The Myeloma Matrix provides updated information about drugs beginning with pre-clinical developments and tracks drugs as they proceed through Phases I – III of clinical trials, drugs that have been FDA approved, and information on trials that are being conducted by NCI- sponsored cooperative groups as well as other myeloma study groups. The online version is updated regularly. If you would like to have a printed copy, call the toll-free hotline (800) 452-2873.
  • International Prognostic Index
    The International Myeloma Foundation is proud to sponsor the International Prognostic Index (IPI) Classification for Multiple Myeloma. Nearly twenty myeloma institutions from around the world are collaborating to create an updated staging system for multiple myeloma.
  • NexCura Cancer Profiler
    The Cancer Profiler is a free service (no hidden fees or charges). Its tools provide you with information specific to your cancer diagnosis to help you make more informed treatment decisions along with your physician.
  • Expert Opinions on Multiple Myeloma
    A multimedia, CME-accredited program for physicians with the chance to see world-renowned myeloma specialists sharing their knowledge, discussing treatment choices, and comparing their perspectives on controversial issues in multiple myeloma and related diseases.
  • MMInteractive
    An exciting way for myeloma patients to get involved at patient seminars.
  • Myeloma At The Movies
    It has been our goal to bring our Patient & Family Seminars to people around the country who might not be able to attend an actual meeting, so we have set up a video lending library.

Shop for the Cure!


Many of the internet's most popular merchants will donate a portion of your purchases to the IMF if you enter their sites using the links on our Shop For The Cure page. You can also use the special shortcut URLs listed below:



So, Shop For The Cure by using these links to the same get great service and low prices you're used to while helping support the IMF!


Help Us Help Others...
As a non-profit organization, the IMF is completely dependent on the support of our members. Please consider showing your support by making a tax-deductible donation today. Donations in honor of a friend or family member make great gifts and are a wonderful way to celebrate a special occasion. You can donate online or by calling the IMF at (800) 452-CURE. We sincerely thank you for your support.


Tell A Friend...
The Myeloma Minute is a great way to stay abreast of the latest developments within the myeloma community. We hope you'll share this information with friends, family members and physicians and encourage them to sign up for their own copy by forwarding this message. New users can register by clicking here.
 related articles