--New Treatments keep Los Angeles Area Patients Alive and Well Years after Diagnosis--
--Advance Interviews Available--
North Hollywood, February 3, 2007 --The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) - a not-for-profit organization supporting research and providing education, advocacy and support for myeloma patients, families, researchers and physicians - is bringing leading myeloma experts to the Sheraton Universal Hotel, February 23rd and 24th, to discuss the latest trends and developments changing the course of cancer care and improving the outcomes. Myeloma, also called multiple myeloma, is a cancer of the bone marrow that affects production of red cells, white cells and stem cells. There is no cure, but new treatments that can be used in combination and sequentially are moving myeloma toward becoming a chronic disease, a cancer that can be managed over time.
"Blood cancers, including myeloma, are the third most common form of cancer, and today new therapies are transforming the way we treat them," said Susie Novis, president and co-founder of the International Myeloma Foundation. "While the benefits from most cancer treatment are measured in months, we are seeing many of our patients experience long-term responses measured in years with new I.V. and oral medications. As a result, growing numbers of myeloma patients are now able to live active, productive lives."
The latest data, new approaches to treatment, and support for family members will be presented at the Los Angeles Patient and Family Seminar later this month. Author and motivational speaker Tom Bay, who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma seven years ago, says finding the right doctor and the right treatment helped save his life:
"When I was first diagnosed I had never heard of myeloma and then the hospital gave me papers to sign that said in bold letters, 'there is no cure.' But I found the IMF, went to see its chairman Dr. Brian Durie, and today I take just an oral medication at home, I have all my hair and my stamina, and I am continuing my work writing books and accepting motivational speaking engagements well into the future."
Dr. Durie, chairman of the International Myeloma Foundation and a world recognized myeloma researcher, will join other cancer experts from leading medical institutions to conduct the seminar for Los Angeles-area patients and families:
- Dr. Morie Gertz of the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Robert Vescio of Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles, both hematologists and myeloma experts; Evan Ross, Doctor of Oriental Medicine, who will speak on complementary care; Sandra Rome, R.N., who will discuss managing side effects from a nursing perspective
- Michael Stuart, a myeloma survivor who was diagnosed in his thirties more than 16 years ago, will speak at the conference about living an active life with cancer.
- These speakers will be available for interviews - some in advance
"We are using new drugs - THALOMID, REVLIMID and VELCADE - that attack not just the cancer cell, but the environment in which it lives," said Dr. Durie. "Understanding these mechanisms of action helps us increase the efficacy of our treatments, decrease their side effects, and apply them to a growing range of blood cancers."
Areas for news coverage include:
- New therapies that do NOT cause the 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
- Patients under 40 with myeloma
- Applying this knowledge and experience to other cancers
If you'd like to set up interviews before or at the seminar please contact
917 856-3915 (mobile)
We would also appreciate an advance announcement, if possible, so patients and their families can attend. There is a modest registration fee and a discount rate for people who want to stay overnight at the hotel.
Los Angeles Patient & Family Seminar, February 23rd and 24th, at the Sheraton Universal Hotel, in Universal City. For more information, contact 800 452 CURE (2873) or e-mail The IMF@myeloma.org.