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Myeloma Minute - May 22, 2007
Welcome to the IMF's Myeloma Minute
News about myeloma treatment, research, support and the myeloma community
from the International Myeloma Foundation.


Combination Provides 43% Improvement in Time to Disease Progression
Read Ortho Biotech's press release

IMF Reports Positive Shift in Treatment Paradigm for Patients
Second Closure of Multi-Center Trial in 4 Weeks Reinforces Benefits of Using REVLIMID® with Low Dose Steroids in Myeloma (from PR Newswire)

Use of Bisphosphonates in Multiple Myeloma: International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) Response to Mayo Clinic Consensus Statement
The IMWG, which is comprised of 85 investigators specializing in the area of multiple myeloma, has reviewed and considered the recent Mayo Clinic consensus statement for the use of bisphosphonates (BPs) in multiple myeloma. Although the IMWG is in general agreement with the Mayo consensus statement, several important issues have been raised.

Transfusion Expert Urges Wider Use of Filtered Blood
Filtering white cells from donor blood before a transfusion is much safer for patients and long overdue as a national standard for all surgical procedures, according to University of Rochester researchers. (from Science Daily)

The Velcade Story
PS-341, known as Velcade, is recognized as a model for how to develop cancer medicines quickly and cheaply, as Julian Adams and other diehard Velcade champions turned four Harvard professors' idea into a breakthrough treatment for multiple myeloma in half the average time for drug-testing and federal review. (from the Boston Globe)

Online information may improve cancer patients' opinions about doctors
Study suggests that providing patients access to high-quality health information about cancer and its related concerns may validate some of what they hear from their health-care team and improve how they feel about their doctors. (from the University of Wisconsin-Madison News)

Doctor: Stem cells, drugs fight myeloma
Although mortality rates from the various forms of myeloma are still high, research in the past decade has increased the rate of remission and the lifespan of patients, according to IMF Scientific Advisor, Dr. Bart Barlogie. (from the Palm Beach Daily News)

The Southern Nevada Multiple Myeloma Support Group is in the process of forming. Interested patients, family members, and friends are encouraged to attend the:first meeting on June 23, 2007 from 11AM-1PM at the Green Valley Library on Green Valley Parkway and Sunset Road in Henderson, NV. For more information contact: Duane Klein at 702-450-1813 or by email at dklein8722@aol.com. This is an excellent way to meet patients and their families, while at the same time learning new things about the treatment and management of myeloma.

Analysis: Panel Urges Anemia Drug Limits
An expert panel called on the Food and Drug Administration to issue new warnings on erythropoietin stimulating drugs used to boost red blood cells in patients with cancer and other diseases. (from United Press International)

Australian Scientists Directly Target Cancer Cells
The method uses nanotechnology, which involves micro-machines far smaller than a human cell. Direct targeting of chemotherapy drugs would allow dosages thousands of times lower than that in conventional chemotherapy and be more easily tolerated by patients. (from Reuters)

Medicare News

Fire Watch
This message came to us from IMF Scientific Advisor, Dr. Mohamad Hussein, by way of IMFer Cindy Feltzin, who lives in fire-ravaged Florida. As we go into fire season in many states, this is useful information. Many thanks to Dr. Hussein and Cindy.

"As myeloma patients are susceptible to infections especially lung, it is critical that patients avoid as much as possible this environment. Stay indoors and, if outdoors for any reason, use a wet handkerchief around the nose and mouth. This will help cut on the inhalation and the negative effects of the smoke. Smoke particles have a suppressive effect on the cells that fight infection directly, and minimizing the exposure will help tremendously."

Privacy Key to Genetic Advances
Genetic research holds great promise to unlock new diagnoses and new treatments, and even to help create pharmaceutical therapies tailored to an individual's genetic makeup. But scientific research and development cannot progress without clinical trials, and these trials can move forward only if the individuals who could benefit are willing to participate.For that to happen, people must believe that their genetic information will not be used to deny them health care coverage or a job.

Day Cruise to Nowhere?
Read the latest issue of the IMF Travel Advantage newsletter for this and other fabulous trips, including an eleven-day cruise on the Mediterranean. Great prices and you are helping the IMF with every vacation.

(IMF Scientific Advisors are marked with an *)
  • Targeting MEK induces myeloma cell cytotoxicity and inhibits osteoclastogenesis
    Yu-Tzu Tai, Mariateresa Fulciniti, Teru Hideshima, Weihua Song, Merav Leiba, Xian-Feng Li, Matthew Rumizen, Peter Burger, Aileen Morrison, Klaus Podar, Dharminder Chauhan, Pierfrancesco Tassone, Paul Richardson*, Nikhil C Munshi, Irene Ghobrial, and Kenneth C Anderson*
    Blood published 17 May 2007, 10.1182/blood-2007-03-081240


Phase: Preclinical

  • Drug name: CDDO-Im ( CDDO-Imidazolide)
    Sponsor: Johns-Hopkins and Dartmouth
    Indication: A synthetic version of oleanolic acid, found in olive leaf extracts, which triggers apoptosis in mm cells

  • Drug name: rhPDGF
    Sponsor: BioMimetic Therapeutics
    Indication: recombinant protein for the treatment of osteonecrosis of the jaw. Clinical trial planned for later in 2007.

  • Drug name: manumycin
    Sponsor: University of Bari, Italy
    Indication: a natural farnesyltransferase inhibitor prevents proliferation and induces apoptosis of mm cells

  • Drug name: BMS-214662
    Sponsor: Bristol-Myers Squibb
    Indication: Farnesyltransferase inhibitor

  • Drug name: PS 1145
    Sponsor: Millennium Pharmaceuticals
    Indication: IkappaB kinase (IKK) inhibitor

  • Drug name: PKF115-584
    Sponsor: Dana-Farber
    Indication: small molecule that blocks the beta-catenin/TCF protein complex

  • Drug name: Degrasyn
    Sponsor: Callisto Pharmaceuticals
    Indication: small molecule that induces degradation of c-Myc in mm and other tumor cell lines

  • Drug name: UCN-01 (7-hydroxystaurosporine)
    Sponsor: Keryx Biopharmaceuticals
    Indication: novel multi-kinase inhibitor that shows activity against myeloma cells in combination with farnesyltransferase inhibitors or statins.

Phase I

  • Drug name: fenretinide (4-HPR)
    Sponsor: California Cancer Consortium; NCI
    Indication: intravenous chemotherapy agent in a safety and tolerability study for patients with relapsed or refractory hematologic cancer

Phase I/II

  • Drug name: hLL1 (anti-CD74 mAb; IMMU 115)
    Sponsor: Immunomedics
    Indication: open-label, multi-center study of a humanized monoclonal antibody to the CD74 myeloma cell surface antigen for patients with recurrent or refractory multiple myeloma who have failed at least 2 prior standard systemic treatments

Phase II

  • Drug name: VEGF Trap (NSC 724770)
    Sponsor: Regeneron
    Indication: open-label safety and efficacy study for patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma
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.

Teaneck Patient & Family Seminar - Teaneck, New Jersey
July 27-28, 2007
III Seminário para Pacientes & Familiares IMF - São Paulo, Brasil
05 de agosto
Paris Patient & Family Seminar - Paris, France
September 14, 2007
Rome Patient & Family Seminar - Rome, Italy
September 21, 2007
Barcelona Patient & Family Seminar - Barcelona, Spain
October 22, 2007
Tampa/St. Petersburg Patient & Family Seminar - St. Petersburg, Florida
November 2-3, 2007
Regional Community Workshop - Bergisch Gladbach, Germany
November 17, 2007
Regional Community Workshop - Berlin, Germany
November 19, 2007

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.'"

Jim's Run for Friends - Traverse City, Michigan
May 26, 2007

Help from Heaven: 5k Benefit Walk for Multiple Myeloma - Winona, Minnesota
May 27, 2007

6th Annual Multiple Musicians Against Multiple Myeloma (MMAMM) - Sea Cliff, New York
July 15, 2007

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

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. And you can order beautiful tribute cards to send out to your friends and family every time you make a donation in their honor to the IMF.We sincerely thank you for your support.

New! Caregiver Daily Journal
If you are a caregiver, the IMF's own Sylvia Baca has written a journal to help you document the daily care you give your loved one. It's $25, with all profits going to support the programs of the IMF.

Sterling Bracelets by Sarah Klein
Sarah Klein's father, Benson, was diagnosed with myeloma in 1998, and has been in remission for 8 years.
Sarah wants to give back to the IMF in her own creative way and has designed two special bracelets made up of semi-precious healing stones. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these bracelets is being donated to the IMF.

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.

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
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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