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THE INTERNATIONAL MYELOMA FOUNDATION SAYS NEW STUDIES SHOW LONGER SURVIVAL FOR MYELOMA PATIENTS AND IMPROVED RESPONSE TO TREATMENTS
Encouraging new findings were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago, showing significant improvements in treating myeloma.
05.31.08

—Data Presented at the ASCO Cancer Conference—

North Hollywood, CA, and Chicago, IL - May 31, 2008 - The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF)—supporting research and providing education, advocacy and support for myeloma patients, families, researchers and physicians—today said encouraging new findings were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago, showing significant improvements in treating myeloma. Several presentations show the drug regimens referred to as the "novel therapies" extend survival and improve the response to treatments at levels not previously seen.

"Taken together, the findings presented at this major cancer conference are dramatic and show that we are very close to making myeloma a chronic and manageable disease," said Susie Novis, president and co-founder of the IMF. "Myeloma is a small disease with a big impact on the way we treat cancer."

Specifically, findings include:

  1. 93% survival at 2 years in newly diagnosed patients on REVLIMID® plus low-dose dexamethasone, regardless of age or eligibility for stem cell transplant1. This extends findings first reported a year ago, and demonstrates a continuing response to treatment.

  2. High complete remission (CR) rates in multiple VELCADE® regimens including VELCADE with dexamethasone (VD). This includes 19% CR in patients on VD as initial therapy, 35% CR with VD after stem cell transplant and 141 VD patients not requiring a second transplant2.

  3. In addition, studies presented at ASCO show improvements are made possible by using VELCADE and REVLIMID in sequence3 and even by using them together4.

Brian G.M. Durie, M.D. co-founder and chairman of the IMF noted. "With the novel therapies we’re seeing a quantum leap in two-year survival from 50% to now 93%, which is just 3% short of what a healthy person of a comparable age could expect. The ongoing survival benefit in the trial of REVLIMID with low dose dexamethasone, presented today, is particularly impressive."

Myeloma, also called multiple myeloma, is a cancer of cells in the bone marrow that affects production of blood cells. Myeloma affects an estimated 750,000 people worldwide, and in industrialized countries it is being diagnosed in growing numbers and in increasingly younger people.

ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL MYELOMA FOUNDATION
The International Myeloma Foundation is the oldest and largest myeloma organization, reaching more than 165,000 members in 113 countries worldwide. A 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of myeloma patients and their families, the IMF focuses in four key areas: research, education, support and advocacy. To date, the IMF has conducted more than 120 educational seminars worldwide, maintains a world-renowned hotline, and operates Bank on a Cure®, a unique gene bank to advance myeloma research. The IMF was rated as the number one resource for patients in an independent survey by the Target Research Group. The IMF can be reached at (800) 452-CURE, or out of the United States at (818) 487-7455. More information is available at www.myeloma.org.

1. Abstract # 8504 – Rajkumar
2. Abstract # 8505 - Harousseau
3. Abstract # 8518 – Palumbo
4. Abstract # 8520 – Richardson

Media Contact: Stephen Gendel or Jennifer Anderson (212) 918-4650


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