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Myeloma Minute - November 3, 2006

What a Night! Report from the IMF's 16th Anniversary Gala
An elegant ballroom...Spirited company...The host of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous...What more could you ask for on a Saturday night!?! On October 21st, 250 friends of the International Myeloma Foundation gathered for the IMF's 16th Annual Gala at the beautiful Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Study Questions Use of Scarce Blood Resources for Patients With Cancer Related Anaemia
The delivery of a typical blood transfusion to cancer patients costs the National Health Service in the UK more than double that of the cost of the blood used, due primarily to the additional expenditure associated with overnight stays and hospital staff time. These disadvantages can be avoided if erythropoietin (EPO) is used as an alternative to blood transfusions in cancer related anaemia. (from DocGuide)
Michael McKean to play Celebrity Jeopardy for the IMF
Michael McKean (Lenny on Laverne & Shirley, The Mighty Wind, Best in Show, etc.) will be playing for the IMF on Celebrity Jeopardy, airing on November 21st. Please check your local listings for the time in your area.
Early Procrit® Improves Quality of Life in Patients With Mild Anemia
Researchers conducting a multicenter U.S. trial have concluded that treating early mild anemia with Procrit® (epoetin alfa) during chemotherapy for hematologic malignancies improves hemoglobin (Hb) responses, quality of life (QOL) measurements and patient productivity. (from CancerConsultants)
New Help for Underinsured Myeloma Patients
Thanks to the advocacy of the IMF, the Chronic Disease Fund has received an infusion of new money to help them meet the needs of underinsured patients with multiple myeloma. The fund is designed to help patients with their insurance co-payments and/or their Medicare Part D 'doughnut holes.' Patients must qualify based on financial need. To speak with a representative of the Chronic Disease Fund, please call 877-968-7233, or contact them through their web site at cdfund.org.
Test helps guide cancer treatment, U.S. study shows
A new test that looks at genetic material from a patient's tumor is 80 percent accurate in predicting which drugs would be most effective against that particular cancer, U.S. researchers reported on Sunday. Writing in the journal Nature Medicine, the researchers said they used a "gene chip" made by Affymetrix as the basis of the test, done in lab dishes using tumor samples from several hundred different patients with leukemia and ovarian, breast and lung cancers. (from Yahoo News)
Innovative Strategies for Treating Myeloma: Case Discussions
A Friday Night Satellite Symposium being held in conjunction with the American Society of Hematology 48th Annual Meeting and Exposition. In this innovative session, structured with a point and counter-point discussion; we will provide a forum for discussion on the latest treatment options for patients with multiple myeloma.
Doxil®, Oncovin®, Revlimid®, and Dexamethasone Effective in Recurrent Multiple Myeloma
Researchers from the Cleveland Clinic report that the combo appears highly effective in myeloma that has recurred or progressed following prior therapies. (from Cancer Consultants)

Five key questions give cancer patients a head start
IMF Scientific Advisor Dr. G. David Roodman, director of the Myeloma Program at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, and director of the Bone Biology Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, has helped to develop a list of five questions cancer patients should ask their physicians. (from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Position Paper on Bisphosphonate- Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaws
Bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (BRON) adversely affects the quality of life and produces significant morbidity in afflicted patients. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons have been responsible for counseling, managing, and treating a majority of these patients. The strategies set forth in this position paper were developed by a Task Force appointed by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS).

Did you know that October was Myeloma Awareness Month in British Columbia this year?
Thanks to the hard work of Francesca Plaster and the Greater Vancouver Multiple Myeloma Support Group it wasn't just Myeloma Awareness week up there. An entire month was dedicated to myeloma awareness. Good work, BC!

Home for the Holidays and for the Cure
Many of us travel over the holidays. If you are planning a trip now or at any time during the year, use www.myelomatravel.com to get great rates and fund the IMF's programs simply by booking your travel! And in a couple of weeks we will begin including a special link in the Minute that will showcase some special travel deals for IMFers. Stay tuned.

The Gift of Hope
IMFers are requesting Mail For The Cure envelopes and letter templates to include in their Holiday cards this year. What better way to let your friends and family know how they can give the gift of hope at this time of year? Please contact Suzanne Battaglia at SBattaglia@myeloma.org or (800) 452-CURE (2873) and let her know how many envelopes you need. And don't forget to order the IMF's Holiday Ornament ($10 each).
Don't forget that the IMF is Part of the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC)
Pledges made by Federal civilian, postal and military donors during the campaign season (September 1st to December 15th) support eligible non-profit organizations that provide health and human service benefits throughout the world--now including the IMF! So, if you are a Federal employee, please participate in the CFC campaign, September 1st through December 15th, and designate the IMF as your beneficiary by using our organization code 1178.

(IMF Scientific Advisors are marked with an *)
  • Long-term outcome results of the first tandem autotransplant trial for multiple myeloma
    Bart Barlogie*, Guido J. Tricot*, Frits van Rhee, Edguardo Angtuaco, Ron Walker, Joshua Epstein, John D. Shaughnessy, Sundar Jagannath*, Vanessa Bolejack, Jennifer Gurley, Antje Hoering, David Vesole*, Raman Desikan, David Siegel*, Jayesh Mehta*, Seema Singhal*, Nikhil C. Munshi, Madhav Dhodapkar, Bonnie Jenkins, Michel Attal*, Jean-Luc Harousseau*, John Crowley*
    British Journal of Haematology; Volume 135, Issue 2, 2006 Oct1, Page 158


  • Phase I
    Drug names: Zolinza (vorinostat, SAHA)
    Sponsor: Merck
    Indication: HDAC inhibitor that has already been approved for cutaneous T-Cell lymphoma and is now being studied in myeloma in combination with bortezomib (Velcade).

  • Pre-clinical
    Drug names: Enzastaurin (LY317615.Hcl)
    Sponsor: Lilly
    Indication: Oral PKC-inhibitor that inhibits proliferation, survival, and migration of MM cell lines and MM cells isolated from multidrug-resistant patients.

  • Pre-clinical
    Drug name: KT-5720
    Sponsor: Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel
    Indication: reverses multidrug resistance in cells from patients with MM. Good candidate for combination therapy.

  • Pre-clinical
    Drug names: Sutent® (sunitinib, SU11248)
    Sponsor: Pfizer
    Indication: Approved drug for renal cell carcinoma and GIST demonstrates antitumor effects in hematological malignancies, especially in combination with rapamycin analogue RAD001.

  • Pre-clinical
    Drug name: bisphosphonate conjugates
    Sponsor: MBC Pharma
    Indication: compound drugs that couple a bisphosphonate with an anticancer agent to target bone and/or surrounding tissue.

  • Pre-clinical
    Drug name: anti-DKK1
    Sponsor: UAMS
    Indication: DKK1 neutralizing antibodies reduce osteolytic bone resorption, increase bone formation, and help control myeloma growth in lab mice.

  • Pre-clinical
    Drug name: LS 104
    Sponsor: LymphoSign
    Indication: kinase inhibitor that is active in myeloma in vitro.
If you would like more information about any clinical trial, you can call the IMF Hotline at 800-452-CURE. The Myeloma Matrix has a current list of all myeloma trials from pre-clinical to recently FDA approved. 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 EmergingMed, with whom the IMF has entered into a partnership 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.

2nd Southwest Symposium on Multiple Myeloma
November 4, 2006
Tempe, Arizona

Innovative Strategies for Treating Myeloma: Case Discussions
December 8, 2006
Friday Night Satellite Symposium being held in conjunction with the American Society of Hematology 48th Annual Meeting and Exposition.
Orlando, Florida



The IMF's comprehensive "How-to-FUNdraise" guide is what you need if you're thinking about fundraising in your community but don't know where to start. The guide contains the A - Z of fundraising ideas--like running in a local marathon and asking for donations per mile for myeloma; having a holiday party, where you charge a cover and hold a raffle; asking your local supermarket to donate wine and cheese, then selling tickets and having a cocktail party--as well as tips and guidelines for success. Check out the FUNdraisers below and show your support by donating to their effort online:

Cents for Cells
Beth Morgan is about to undergo a stem cell transplant and she is asking family and friends to help her help the IMF by raising a penny for each stem cell that will be collected. She has dedicated Cents for Cells to the memory of Chris Hollyer.
The Stratford Runner
Sheldon is running 1000 kilometers across Canada to raise money to support myeloma research.
Gina Terry's Run
December 9, 2006
Kiawah Island, South Carolina
See complete list of 2007 UPCOMING EVENTS.

If you use the special IMF links to shop at your favorite internet retailers (e-tailers) like Amazon.com, they will donate a portion of your purchase to the IMF. You pay no more than you would normally for everything from clothing to computers to cruises. Whatever you buy, the programs, publications and research supported by the IMF will benefit. Visit our Shop for the IMF page at http://shop.myeloma.org to see the complete list of popular etailers who will donate a portion of your purchase to the IMF. Giving has never been more painless!
Calling All Kids!
If you are ready to fight back against myeloma, then you need Kids Fight Back, a fundraising program especially for kids.
Tribute Cards
Order these beautiful tribute cards to send out to your friends and family every time you make a donation in their honor to the IMF.
Read for Research!
Book clubs all over the US are asking their members to use the special IMF links to Amazon (amazon.myeloma.org) and Barnes and Noble (barnesandnoble.myeloma.org) to purchase their book selections each month. That way, members can get the benefit of the same everyday low prices on these web sites AND every purchase results in a donation that supports the programs of the IMF. If your book club hasn't been buying books using the IMF affiliate program links, what are you waiting for? Make your purchases count. Use the links!
Recipes for Research
Marilyn Alexander, the Philadelphia support group, and the IMF community have come together to create one terrific cookbook and handy kitchen reference. From Autumn Apple Cake to Veal Stimbarada, there is something here for every taste. And if you aren't in the mood to cook tonight, there is an entire section with tips on everything from setting the table to stain remover. At only $15, it will make a great holiday gift.
Ribbon of Hope Ornament
Whether you hang one on your holiday tree, your wall, or any other creative place you can think of, the IMF's 4-inch holiday ornament will bring a message of hope to anyone you give it to. We have a limited number available at only $10 each, so why not order one today?
Imagine Moving Forward is the theme of the IMF's popular myeloma bracelet. At medical conferences and patient & family seminars we see people wearing them in honor, celebration, or in memory of a loved one. They're only $1 each in sets of 10, so order them for everyone you know who has been touched by myeloma. Order them on the web. If you have questions about the bracelets or would like more information, contact Suzanne Battaglia at (800) 452-2873, ext. 227, or SBattaglia@myeloma.org.
See more exciting ways to help the IMF continue its important work in education, support and research.

Mensajero del Mieloma
La IMF quiere enviar información sobre el mieloma en español a todos los pacientes, familiares e interesados. Para suscribirse al correo electrónico (enviaremos diez números al año), por favor, envíe su dirección a mensajero@myeloma.org. ¡Gracias!


International Staging System

A tool to help understand the current status of the disease and the questions you should be asking.

HealthTalk's Multiple Myeloma Education Network

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