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First Myeloma-Specific Cancer Patient DNA Bank Becomes a Reality

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA (August 2004) – The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) announced today that Bank on a Cure® (BOAC) DNA sample kits are now being distributed to patients and the response has been excellent. More than 450 kits have been mailed out since May 2004 and over 160 have already been collected. Patients are completing the required paperwork and requesting clinical information be sent from their physicians to Bank On A Cure.

“This is the first step in the creation of the very first myeloma-specific DNA Bank in history,” said Susie Novis, IMF President. “Bank On A Cure has tremendous potential to rapidly move our understanding of myeloma forward. We are extremely excited to see this project get underway.”

Bank On A Cure is the IMF’s cutting edge research initiative. Through this program, DNA samples will be collected from patients and institutions worldwide and genetically analyzed to help develop new and more effective therapies and to better understand, and ultimately, find a cure for myeloma. Patients who register to receive a DNA sample kit receive a box containing Scope mouthwash, instructions on how to “swish and spit” to provide a DNA sample, and a release form to request their medical records be sent from their physicians. All information is bar-coded to ensure patient confidentiality. The DNA samples will then be genetically analyzed and compared with patients’ medical records (also “banked”). Correlations will be made between the genetic profiles of patients and their responses to various therapies. This information will be instrumental in finding new, more effective therapies for multiple myeloma.

“I sent back my Bank On A Cure sample and information and was so honored to do so,” said one patient after mailing in their DNA sample kit. “This is a wonderful opportunity to provide treatment options for newly diagnosed patients down the line. Bank On A Cure is the wave of the future!”

The IMF foresees a time in the near future when each patient’s treatment will be “tailor-made” to his or her own genetic profile. This individualization will facilitate better, more effective and less toxic healing.

About Bank on a Cure and the IMF

Bank On A Cure is the first comprehensive myeloma-specific, cancer patient DNA bank in history. The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) is the pioneer in myeloma cancer research funding and patient support. The IMF sponsors this unique program to unlock the DNA door to a cure for myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow.

The initial goal of Bank On A Cure is to collect pertinent patient information and DNA samples from at least 10,000 patients. This is a three-year international effort involving 17 centers and over 30 thousand patients and will require significant funding. Patients interested in participating can order a DNA Sample kit by going to www.myeloma.org or calling the IMF at 800-452-CURE.

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