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Leading Cancer Experts Conduct Philadelphia Seminar on MM Treatment as New 'Model' for Cancer Care

- New Treatments Keep Philadelphia Woman Alive and Well 13 Years after Diagnosis -

PHILADELPHIA and NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif., July 31 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Myeloma Foundation -- a not-for-profit organization supporting research and providing education, advocacy and support for myeloma patients, families, researchers and physicians -- is bringing leading experts to the Doubletree Hotel, August 4th and 5th, to discuss the latest trends and developments changing the face of cancer care. These new developments include the recent approval of the once controversial drug thalidomide for multiple myeloma, the anticipated approval this month of a related drug called Revlimid, and new survival data, just released at a scientific conference.

"When I was first diagnosed with multiple myeloma most patients were given three to five years to live. But for me that was 13 years ago, and here I am leading an active productive life," says Philadelphia resident Marilyn Alexander. "I am in complete remission on a new drug called Revlimid, a pill I take at home that has none of the ravages associated with traditional chemotherapy."

Multiple myeloma is a cancer in the bone marrow that affects production of red cells, white cells and stem cells. With more than 100 drugs in clinical trials, myeloma is leading the way to the new model for cancer treatment. Although it remains incurable, myeloma is fast becoming a chronic cancer, where people will take their medication and go about their lives.

"As I wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine, contrary to a widely held belief, multiple myeloma is not a rare, rapidly fatal disorder that affects only elderly patients," said Edward Stadtmauer, M.D., hematologist at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. "Instead, it is the second most common blood cancer. Half of these patients were diagnosed when they were younger than 60, and increasingly, the disease is detected in patients under the age of 40. The detection of myeloma in patients who are relatively young and otherwise healthy has allowed the use of increasingly aggressive and potentially more efficacious therapies."

Dr. Stadtmauer, Dr. Brian G. M. Durie, chairman of the International Myeloma Foundation and other cancer experts from leading medical institutions nationwide will be conducting the special seminar for Philadelphia-area patients and families:

  • Experts from the Mayo Clinic, St. Vincent's Comprehensive Cancer Center in New York, Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles, Vanderbilt University in Nashville as well as Dr. Stadtmauer from UPENN will be available for interviews -- some in advance of the seminar

  • Areas for news coverage include:

    • New oral therapies that don't require IV administration, and do NOT cause the typical ravages of chemotherapy
    • Using drugs and drug combinations in sequence so when the cancer stops responding to one drug another drug can take its place
    • Applying this knowledge to other cancers

The Philadelphia Patient & Family Seminar will be held August 4th and 5th at the Doubletree Hotel, 237 South Broad Street, Philadelphia. Patients and family members who would like more information may contact the International Myeloma Foundation at 800 452 CURE (2873) or e-mail TheIMF@myeloma.org.

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