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New, Improved Staging System for Multiple Myeloma Developed for Use Around the World
04.04.05

International Myeloma Foundation’s Working Group Devises Simple, Reliable System

NORTH HOLLYWOOD , CA – April 4, 2005 – A new study published today on-line on the Journal of Clinical Oncology’s web site (www.jco.org) demonstrates the effectiveness of a new staging system for multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow.  The new International Staging System (ISS) provides a simple prognostic factor alternative to the Durie and Salmon clinical staging system used for more than 25 years.  The collaborative efforts of the International Myeloma Foundation’s (IMF) International Myeloma Working Group led to the development the ISS after more than four years.  Today’s large international dataset of patients with myeloma was instrumental in the development of this new, improved staging system.

“The ISS provides a simple, objective and cost-effective new staging system that can be used around the world,” said Brian G.M. Durie, IMF Chairman and one of the authors of the study. “For myeloma patients, this takes the guess work out of staging and allows precise, individualized treatment selection.”

The new International Staging System is based upon two blood test results: serum ß2 microglobulin (Sß2M) and serum albumin. These two blood proteins were selected from among various other prognostic factors because of their statistical power and the wide availability of these two simple inexpensive laboratory tests. The large patient dataset from 17 U.S. and international institutions allowed validation of the system for North America, Europe and Asia .

“The development of the ISS is a tremendous accomplishment of the International Myeloma Working Group,” said Susie Novis, IMF President.  “Patients need to have the most accurate information about their illness so that they can make the best, most informed decisions about their care.  The ISS will help them do so.”

The study, entitled International Staging System (ISS) for Multiple Myeloma by Greipp et al, was published on-line today as well as in the May 20th issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology. For more information on the new ISS, please contact the IMF at (818) 452-CURE or www.myeloma.org.

About the IMF

The International Myeloma Foundation is the oldest and largest myeloma organization in existence, reaching more than 125,000 members in 113 countries worldwide.  A 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of myeloma patients and their families, the IMF focuses in four key areas: research, education, support, and advocacy. To date, the IMF has conducted more than 100 educational seminars worldwide, maintains a world-renowned hotline, and ensures that patients’ voices are heard on Capitol Hill. The IMF can be reached at (800)452-CURE or www.myeloma.org.


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