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Over 200 Attend 2nd Annual Patient & Family Seminar in Madrid

The 2nd Patient & Family Seminar in Spain was held Monday, October 10, 2005 in Madrid. IMF Scientific Advisor, Prof. Jesus San Miguel Chaired the meeting and joining him as faculty were members of GEM the Spanish cooperative Myeloma group. Over 200 people attended the seminar which was held at the prestigious Faculty of Medicine at the University of Madrid "Complutense," ironically in the Ramon y Cajal auditorium, (Dr. Ramon y Cajal was one of the early investigators of the disease). This provided an excellent setting for this very informative and instructive meeting.

Prof. Jesus San Miguel, of the Hospital.Clinico Universitario, in Salamanca, Spain, began the seminar with an introduction to Myeloma, that discussed the history of Myeloma beginning with an account of a patient Alexander McBean who was diagnosed with Myeloma in 1846 in the UK on through to the new therapies we have available today with a glimpse to the future.

Dr. Brian Durie, Cedars Sinai, Los Angeles, CA, next gave a lecture on What is Myeloma, or Myeloma 101, including terminology, the various stages of Myeloma beginning with early stage, MGUS, and explained the new system for staging, the International Staging System, which was developed though a collaborative effort of the International Myeloma Foundation Working Group, of which Prof. San Miguel was a lead investigator.

Next, Dr. R. Martinez, of the Hospital Clinico Universitario of San Carlos, Madrid, gave a lecture on other types of Gammopathies that are related to Myeloma.

Doctor A. Sureda of the Hospital de la Santa Creu I Sant Pau in Barcelona, gave the successive lecture on Kidney Complications and Infections, which can be so very important in the on-going treatment of the disease.

Following Dr. Sureda's discussion was Dr. A. Alegre's presentation on Bone Complications. Dr. Alegre is on staff at the Hospital Universitario de la Princesa in Madrid.

The seminar then took a needed pause for lunch, topped by an impressive dish of grilled Gilthead fish, a local delicacy. It was a wonderful opportunity for the attendees to talk and share experiences with one another.

After lunch, Dr. L.F. Casado of the Hospital Vigen de la Salud in Toledo gave a very interesting presentation on Chemotherapy treatments in Myeloma.

Dr. J.J. La Huerta of the Hospital 12 de Octubre in Madrid followed with his discussion on Stem-Cell Transplants and their use in Myeloma treatment.

The last discussion, which was followed by a very lively question and answer session, as we have noticed around the world, involved the Novel Therapies being offered (and those new biologics in clinical trials) presented by Dr. J. Garcia Laraña of the Hospital Universitario Ramon y Cajal in Madrid.

This successful and informative seminar ended on time in the late afternoon with time for individual interaction between the distinguished panel and the patients (and their families, friends, and caregivers) in attendance.

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