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Myeloma Minute
April 30, 2010
Welcome to the IMF's Myeloma Minute
News about myeloma treatment, research, support and the myeloma community
from the International Myeloma Foundation.


Question for the Hotline? Use new Click to Talk!
Click to Talk is an exciting new service that puts you in touch with our Hotline more easily. Just click the icon that appears in the upper right hand corner on every page, enter your phone number, and you will receive a call from our office that will connect you to the Hotline. If you call after hours, you can set up a specific time and number for a callback.

Michael McKean Playing for IMF in Semi-Final of Jeopardy! Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational Tournament.
The International Myeloma Foundation is waiting with great anticipation as film, TV, theater and rock con Michael McKean enters the semi-final round of “Jeopardy! Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational Tournament.” The actor-singer-musician has already won $75 thousand for the IMF as he remained undefeated in the quarter-final rounds last October. The semi-finals could bring another $100 thousand to the IMF and a chance at the big MILLION DOLLAR PRIZE—the largest amount ever awarded on “Celebrity Jeopardy!

The semi-final rounds begin next week, with Michael competing on Tuesday, May 4th. If Michael wins the semi-finals he will go on to the two-show final round, May 6th and 7th. Check your local listing for times in your city. 

New International Myeloma Working Group  Guidelines on DVT and Response Criteria
Criteria reconciled from various previously used systems for assessing multiple myeloma response.

Looking for support? It may be just within reach with one of our new support groups:

Living Well with Multiple Myeloma Teleconference Series
The IMF’s Living Well with Myeloma quarterly teleconference series continues with Pain Management.

IMF Subsidizes Portland Seminar Hotel
If you have already registered for the Portland Patient & Family Seminar, or if you plan on registering soon, here is some very good news for you. The IMF is subsidizing your hotel room  at the Embassy Suites for Friday and Saturday night to bring the rate down to $99 per night. This rate applies only to Friday (May 21) and Saturday (May 22), so if you plan on staying over or if you arrive early, the rate of $129 will apply for those nights.

The Portland seminar includes presentations on treatment options for patients over 65 and patients eligible for transplant. The role of bone disease, treatment for relapse, new drugs on the horizon  will also be covered. Drs. Kyle, Mikhael  and Drake from the Mayo Clinics in Rochester, MN and Scottsdale, AZ join Dr. Durie on the faculty.

Cancer survival rates increasing in UK
The largest increase in five-year survival of cancer was for men diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and for myeloma. Myeloma also showed the largest increase in survival for women. (from The Independent)

Adding bortezomib to first-line therapy boosts survival in multiple myeloma
The survival benefit of adding bortezomib (Velcade) to melphalan and prednisone for first-line treatment of multiple myeloma persists even after long-term follow-up and salvage therapy, researchers reported online, April 5th in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
(from CureToday.com)

Multiple Myeloma - The Mouse Model
Mayo Clinic Cancer Center takes many turns in its search for answers. In the case of multiple myeloma, one road traveled resulted in a novel research tool: The first successful transgenic model for replicating how the disease impacts humans. (from Discovery's Edge)

Gaps in insurance policies make oral drugs too pricey for some cancer patients
A recent report found that oral cancer drugs, which account for about 10 percent of chemotherapy treatments nationwide, are typically placed in the most expensive price tier in insurance and Medicare Part D drug plans, where out-of-pocket costs can reach 35 percent. (from the Washington Post)

Cancer survivor argues for parity in drug treatment options
A local cancer survivor is watching closely as House lawmakers soon will vote on a bipartisan bill that would establish a study commission to investigate drug parity for cancer treatment. (from Seacoastonline.com)

Gold nanosensors to track disease
Gold nanoparticles designed to detect proteins within cells, using just laser light, could enable simple and highly sensitive monitoring tools for blood clots and other disorders. (from Technology Review)

XOMA 052 shows potent In vitro inhibition of interleukin-6 production in human myeloma cells
Independent researchers today presented results showing that XOMA's antibody to interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta), XOMA 052, was highly effective in reducing production of a protein that supports the proliferation of cancerous human myeloma cells in vitro. (from The Wall Street Journal)



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 (NCI). To see the summaries of newsworthy clinical trial results, visit the National Cancer Institute Multiple Myeloma Trial Results.

Note: Some of the international seminar cities have been set, but the venues and agendas are still in the works. Check back often if you are interested in attending, as we post the sites and speakers as they are confirmed.


  • Veterans Against Myeloma
    IMFer Jerry Walton encourages all vets to join Veterans Against Myeloma. "Many MM patients are veterans. Our combined efforts to continue our service through the Veterans Against Myeloma cause can help research and help us win the battle by finding a cure. Hopefully one day together we can say 'Mission Accomplished!'"
  • VISIONS Notecards by Jeff; A Cure for Karl
    Jeff Hanson is a 15 year-old, visually impaired artist from Overland Park, Kansas. IMFer Karl Vollstedt and Jeff are great friends who use their time and talents to benefit others. Jeff created these note cards as a gift to Karl and to myeloma research.
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.

How to Host an Afternoon Tea
An elegant and easy way to build awareness about myeloma and raise money in your community, and the IMF will help.

Kids Fight Back!
Kids, need to earn a Citizenship merit badge or fulfill community service requirements? Here's a great idea about how to do both while you fight back against myeloma. We'll help you put on the best fundraiser ever!
Shop for the IMF
Shop with the leading merchants on the Internet, receive the same price as anyone else visiting their sites, and support the IMF at the same time!
See more exciting ways to help the IMF continue its important work in education, support and research.

Have you downloaded your Myeloma Manager Personal Care Assistant

Another exciting first from the IMF!
Free software to help manage and understand your lab results, and more!

The Eighth Annual Cancer Survivorship Series: Living With, Through & Beyond Cancer
This spring, CancerCare, in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute, LIVESTRONG, Intercultural Cancer Council, Living Beyond Breast Cancer and National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship,presents a four-part telephone workshop series. This free series offers cancer survivors, their families, friends and health care professionals practical information to help them cope with concerns and issues that arise after treatment ends.

  • Part II, Communicating with Your Health Care Team After Treatment: Making the Most of Your Visit, will take place on May 18th.
  • Part III, Survivorship and Workplace Transitions, will take place on June 22nd.
  • Part IV, Survivors Too: Communicating With and Among Family, Friends and Loved Ones, will take place on July 13th.

All of the workshops take place from 1:30 to 2:30 pm Eastern Time. These workshops are free – no phone charges apply.  However, pre-registration is required.  To register simply go to the CancerCare website,  www.cancercare.org/connect.

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.

A tool to help understand the current status of the disease and the questions you should be asking.
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Please call the hotline (800) 452-CURE (800-452-2873) or email TheIMF@myeloma.org if you have any questions.
Copyright 2010. International Myeloma Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

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