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Myeloma Minute - April 5, 2007
04.05.07
Welcome to the IMF's Myeloma Minute
News about myeloma treatment, research, support and the myeloma community
from the International Myeloma Foundation.

WHAT'S NEWS
ECOG RESULTS COULD IMPROVE SURVIVAL WHILE REDUCING SIDE EFFECTS FOR MANY PATIENTS
Findings Show Survival Improvement with Lower Doses of Dexamethasone, the Steroid Commonly Used with REVLIMID® and other Drugs in Newly Diagnosed Myeloma, Challenging Traditional Assumptions that More-Is-Better when Treating Cancer.

Caution about use of erythropoietin products
Several recent public health advisories and safety messages have raised cautions about the use of Darbopoetin alfa (Aranesp®) and Epoetin alfa (Procrit® and Epogen®).



Researchers and Advocates Make Progress in Multiple Myeloma
IMF Chairman of the Board, Dr. Brian Durie, and IMF President, Susie Novis, are interviewed by Cure Magazine.

Revlimid Approval Could Benefit Patients Throughout Europe
Patients, Advocates and Experts Applaud Positive Opinion from EU Advisory Committee

Measles vaccine trial opened at Mayo Clinic under Dr. Angela Dispenzieri. First patient has started therapy.
Phase I Trial of Systemic Administration of Edmonston Strain of Measles Virus, Genetically Engineered to Express NIS, with or without Cyclophosphamide, in Patients with Recurrent or Refractory Multiple Myeloma.
Click here for patient information.

Hope for cancer victims as Velcade ban is overruled
The ruling that Velcade should not be prescribed on the Health Service in England caused outrage last year because it is available in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


Ailing veteran advocates for others
IMFer Tom Courbat helps veterans from across the country through the often complicated process of applying for federal assistance. (from the Press-Enterprise


Treatment of Newly Diagnosed Myeloma Based on Mayo Clinic's mSMART
mSmart (Mayo Stratification of Myeloma and Risk-Adapted Therapy).
This consensus statement from the Mayo Clinic is excellent overview of the issues and a good basis for discussion as the scientific and clinical communities work to advance the standard of care.

Immunologic memory discovery reported
British scientists say they've discovered why people, as they age, develop immunologic memory to newly encountered pathogens. (from United Press International)


Seniors in Medicare Part D on Cost Rollercoaster; Over Quarter of Sampled Plans Hike Drug Costs 5% or More
A new report from Consumers Union finds that it may be difficult -- if not impossible -- for Medicare beneficiaries to have confidence that their private Part D insurance plan will not change or increase prescription drug costs for the year they are locked into the plan. (from EarthTimes)

U.S. Comptroller General David Walker calls prescription drug benefit of the U.S. Medicare program "financially irresponsible."
Walker says drug plan promises "way more than we can afford to keep," and huge investments are needed immediately to keep Medicare afloat as an aging baby boomer population becomes eligible for the program. (from Reuters by way of ABC News)


From Wall Street, a warning about cancer-drug prices
For now, the high prices of cancer drugs are continuing to boost the stocks of companies that make them. But a pushback on drug prices is gathering steam in the Democrat-controlled Congress. (from the Wall Street Journal by way of San Diego Source)


Heather Cooper Ortner Named IMF Vice President of Development
Heather comes to the IMF from the Brandeis-Bardin Institute where she was director of development.

How common viruses can turn cells cancerous
Researchers suspected that cell fusion might be to blame. Several common viruses can initiate this process. (from NewScientist.com)


Bargaining Down That CT Scan Is Suddenly Possible
Medical care is often priced with the same maddening, arbitrary opacity as airline seats and hotel rooms. (from the NY Times by way of HealthDecisions.org)


Certain cells are more lethal
While some tumors wither under radiation or chemotherapy, or are easily cut away with surgery, others grow back, sometimes years later, despite even the harshest therapies. (from USA Today)


European Medicines Agency Accepts for Review Thalidomide Pharmion® Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) for Untreated Myeloma
The MAA, which was submitted in January 2007, is based on four Phase 3 studies in over 1400 patients. (from PR Newswire)


Sunesis Initiates Phase 1 Clinical Trial Of SNS-032 In Patients With B-cell Malignancies
SNS-032 targets both cell-cycle and transcriptional-regulation pathways crucial to cancer cell growth and survival. SNS-032's mechanism of action may be well-suited to indications including multiple myeloma. (from Medical News Today)


Turn Your Vacations Into Donations!
Make sure you check out the latest issue of the IMF Travel Advantage newsletter. It is full of deals on trips to Cancun, the Bahamas, MonteCarlo and more. Great prices and you are helping the IMF with every vacation.


ADVOCACY UPDATE
by Christine Murphy, MA

On February 14th, the United States Senate passed 81-15 the fiscal year (FY) 2007 funding resolution setting the final allocations for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The NIH and the Geraldine Ferraro Blood Cancer Program at CDC received increases while the NCI was level funded at the FY 2006 funding level. Below is a breakdown of the final funding allocations for FY 2007.

Program

FY 2006

FY 2007

Increase

National Institutes of Health

$28.312 billion

$28.931 billion

$619 million

National Cancer Institute

$4.793 billion

$4.793 billion

$0

National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities

$195.405 million

$199.405 million

$4 million

Geraldine Ferraro Blood Cancer Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

$4.518 million

$4.521 million

$0.003 million


The IMF appreciates the increases for these key cancer programs in FY 2007 and will continue to work with Congress to secure funding increases in FY 2008.


WHAT'S NEW IN RESEARCH
ARTICLES
(IMF Scientific Advisors are marked with an *)
CLINICAL TRIALS
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.

UPCOMING SEMINARS AND CLINICAL CONFERENCES
Regional Community Workshop - Munich, Germany
May 16, 2007
Second Anniversary Conference of the AMEN Foundation
May 17, 2007
Shefayim Kibutz, Israel
Regional Community Workshop - Würzburg, Germany
May 19, 2007
Teaneck Patient & Family Seminar - Teaneck, New Jersey
July 27-28, 2007
III Seminário para Pacientes & Familiares IMF - São Paulo, Brasil
05 de agosto

UPCOMING EVENTS
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 helping the IMF by raising a penny for each stem cell that will be collected for her BMT. 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.

Carlos' Ride for the Cure
Carlos is riding his bicycle to support the work of the IMF. "I say, 'until there is a cure I ride for the IMF.'"

Run for Myeloma Research - Walk/Run for Joseph Prosper - Vancouver,Canada
April 15, 2007
Second Annual Music Against Myeloma - New York, New York
April 24, 2007

Molnar Marathon - Louisville, Kentucky
April 28, 2007

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

Billy and Devon's Wedding - North Miami Beach, Florida
July 28, 2007

HELP THE IMF 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.

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!
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.
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 makes a great 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.

ITEMS OF INTEREST
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!


BANK ON A CURE®

International Staging System

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

HealthTalk's Multiple Myeloma Education Network
Many thanks to the supporters of The Myeloma Minute:
Celgene Corporation, Kyphon, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Ortho Biotech, and The Binding Site.
Please call the hotline (800) 452-CURE (800-452-2873) or email TheIMF@myeloma.org if you have any questions.
Copyright 2002-2007. International Myeloma Foundation. All Rights Reserved.


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