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Myeloma Minute - February 3, 2007

NCI Director
John Niederhuber
Proposal would cut NCI budget again
President Bush has proposed cutting the National Cancer Institute's budget for the second consecutive year. Leading cancer experts say key research could come to a halt because of proposed spending cuts to the institute. (from USA Today)

HHS Issues New Clinical Trials Reporting Guidelines
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Human Research Protections, has issued new guidelines for clinical trials reporting requirements for clinical trails conducted or supported by HHS. Of particular importance is the requirement that "unanticipated problems" must be reported.

Amgen Finds Anemia Drug Holds Risks in Cancer Use
Aranesp increased the risk of death when used to treat certain cancer patients, a finding that will probably raise more questions about it and similar drugs. (from BBBiotech)

A New Way to Fight Cancer?
Scientists and patients are buzzing about DCA, an existing drug newly recognized as a potentially powerful cancer treatment. (from Newsweek)

Don't Wait!
Over 225 people have already registered for the IMF's Los Angeles Patient & Family Seminar--people like you, with the same questions and the same fears. Join them as they ask their questions...your questions...and get the answers. There are only a few places left. Register now!

Nanoparticles Sneak Drugs into Cancer Cells
A new use for Buckyball nanoparticles has been discovered -- as "passkeys" that allow drugs to enter cancer cells. (from Photonics)

Do Food Expiration Dates Really Matter?
For those of us with compromised immune systems, sniffing might not be the best way to tell if something is still good to eat. (from WebMD)

Cancer scientists' gene research offers new treatment hope
One team at the University of Oxford has shown in a laboratory study that it is possible to use large molecules of RNA to switch off a gene responsible for an enzyme called dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), which is essential for the rapid proliferation of tumour cells. (from The London Independent)

It is February...when thoughts turn to love and what the heck am I going to get her/him for Valentines Day?
If you are planning to send flowers or candy, or anything else for that matter, why not help the IMF at the same time? Just go to Shop for the IMF, and use the special links to purchase the same gifts you were planning on sending anyway, and a portion of the sale will go to the IMF. You pay the same price from the same merchants, and the IMF benefits. Now, that is love.

Canadian study pinpoints genes that predict bone marrow 'dangerous donors'
If corroborated, their findings could lower the risk of graft-versus-host disease for bone marrow recipients. (from The Globe and Mail)

Researchers Find That 'Silent' Gene Mutations Can Change the Function of an Anticancer Drug Pump
The genetic mutations examined in this research are known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and are very common. "These results may not only change our thinking about mechanisms of drug resistance, but may also cause us to reassess our whole understanding of SNPs in general, and what role they play in disease," said NCI Director John E. Niederhuber, M.D. (from the National Cancer Institute)
Editor's Note: Bank On A Cure® uses a myeloma-specific gene-testing SNP chip, the first of its kind.

Second Chance at Life Symposium
BMT InfoNet's Celebrating a Second Chance at Life Symposium for bone marrow, stem cell and cord blood transplant survivors is generating great enthusiasm. This one day event on April 14, 2007 in Oak Brook IL, will feature presentations by leading experts on the many challenges faced by transplant survivors.

Researchers revive guardian gene against cancer
Researchers in two papers published in the journal Nature indicate they were able to restore the anti-cancer defense inherent in the p53 gene by using either gene therapy or RNA interference. The researchers used mice with established cancer and found that tumors greatly regressed when the p53 gene's normal function was restored and it was allowed to use its two defensive processes, apoptosis and senescence, against the cancer. (from Yahoo News)

Pharmion Submits European Marketing Authorization Application for Thalidomide Pharmion® for Untreated Multiple Myeloma
The submission is based on four Phase 3 studies in over 1400 patients (from Earthtimes)

Cancer stem cell development is documented
U.S. scientists have clarified how normal stem cells become cancer stem cells, as well as how cancer stem cells can cause the formation of tumors. (from United Press International)
For more on the topic, read The Unknown Patient's article on stem cells
In Search Of The Myeloma Stem Cell: A Special Report

News from Hogwarts! Harry Potter Helps the IMF!
The latest and last Harry Potter is available for pre-order.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is coming out July 21. Who will survive the final chapter of J.K. Rowling's wildly popular series? You will find out when you pre-order the book at a special, discounted price and help the IMF at the same time. Just click on the special link below and, like magic, a portion of your order will go to the IMF.

by Christine Murphy, MA

The 110th Congress convened in early January and spent much of the first 100 hours in session debating issues such as minimum wage, stem cell research, and pricing for Medicare Part D drugs. Additionally, Congress is also finalizing the fiscal year (FY) 2007 Appropriations cycle.

Funding for Important Cancer Programs

The President's FY 2007 Budget proposed an almost $5 billion cut for programs under the jurisdiction of the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education (LHHS) Appropriations bill. The LHHS Appropriations bill includes funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the cancer control and prevention programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Throughout the FY 2007 Appropriations cycle, Senators Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania) fought not only to restore those funds but to add an additional $2.3 billion needed to bring those programs back to the FY 2005 funding levelan increase of $7 billion over the President's budget. The 109th Congress adjourned without completing many of the FY 2007 Appropriations bills including the LHHS Appropriations bill. As a result, these important programs need to be funded through a joint funding resolution.

The FY 2007 Joint Funding Resolution for FY 2007 includes the $2.3 billion funding level requested by Senators Harkin and Specter. The NIH will receive a $620 million increase while the CDC receives an additional $100 million. The House of Representatives will vote on the FY 2007 Joint Funding Resolution on January 31 with the Senate vote expected in early February.

Stem Cell Legislation Update

On January 11, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3, the "Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act." H.R. 3 would bolster embryonic stem-cell research; however, the 253-174 vote fell short of the 290 required to overturn President Bush's promised veto. The bill is now headed to the Senate, where it is expected to pass. The President vetoed identical legislation last year. The IMF will keep you updated on H.R. 3 as the legislation moves through the Senate.

Health legislation is expected to play a more prominent role in the 110th Congress. The IMF will continue to keep you informed as health legislation important to the myeloma community is debated in the House and Senate.

(IMF Scientific Advisors are marked with an *)
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.

Los Angeles Patient & Family Seminar
February 23-24, 2007
Los Angeles, California
Houston Patient & Family Seminar
March 23-24, 2007
Houston, Texas
Teaneck Patient & Family Seminar
July 27-28, 2007
Teaneck, New Jersey


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.

Sheridan-Shedenhelm Wedding
February 3, 2007
Tampa, Florida

Molnar Marathon
April 28, 2007
Louisville, Kentucky

8th Annual JC Golf Tournament
May 19, 2007
Saint Cloud, Minnesota

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!
Turn Your Vacations Into Donations!
Make sure you check out the IMF Travel Advantage newsletter. As part of our travel program, every two weeks we will bring to you some of the best travel deals on the internet through a special newsletter supplement created especially for IMF supporters and friends.
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).
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.
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.
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.

Apply NOW to NCI's All-Consumer Advisory Committee!
The National Cancer Institute's Office of Liaison Activities (OLA) invites all interested and eligible advocates, consumers and survivors to apply for 4 vacancies on the NCI Director's Consumer Liaison Group (DCLG), with terms beginning July, 2007. The DCLG is a Federal Advisory Committee of 16 cancer advocates and consumer members who are appointed by the Director of NCI. DCLG members provide broad-based recommendations to the NCI Director, and serve as a forum to receive feedback and input from all areas of the cancer advocacy community. The NCI Director has identified eliminating cancer disparities and research issues in cancer care delivery as two focus areas for the DCLG in 2007. Applications must be postmarked by March 30, 2007.

Help for Underinsured Myeloma Patients
Thanks to the advocacy of the IMF, the Chronic Disease Fund has received an infusion of 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.

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

Help Us Help Others...
As a non-profit organization, the IMF is completely dependent on the support of our members. Tax-deductible donations in honor of a friend or family member make great gifts and are a wonderful way to celebrate a special occasion. You can donate online or by calling the IMF at (800) 452-CURE. We sincerely thank you for your support.

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