North Hollywood, CA, September 9, 2014 – The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) – improving the quality of life of myeloma patients while working toward prevention and a cure – will host a congressional briefing on Wednesday, September 10th to discuss research on links between exposure to environmental hazards and multiple myeloma, a cancer of cells in the bone marrow. Recent research indicates that myeloma is developed at higher rates in certain populations, including first responders at the World Trade Center site, farmers, and others with jobs that expose them to certain chemicals.
A new update from the World Trade Center Health Program at Mount Sinai Hospital combined with data from the New York City Fire Department indicates that 2,518 first responders have now developed cancer, and myeloma is among the top four cancers reported. These myeloma cases have been linked to exposure to 1,3-Butadiene, a known cancer-causing agent and industrial chemical, which was found at the World Trade Center site.
“The latest update from the World Trade Center Health Program reveals more than a doubling of the number of cancer cases since last year at this time,” said IMF Chairman and Co-Founder Brian G.M. Durie, MD. “If the numbers continue at this pace, the burden of cancer, including myeloma, will become enormous--costly in terms of both lives and dollars.”
“We at the IMF believe it is critically important that our US members of Congress understand the seriousness of the links between hazardous substances in the environment and myeloma so they can help protect people at risk,” said Meghan Buzby, IMF Senior Director of Advocacy. “We are thrilled to see that legislation is being introduced by several US members of Congress to extend the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which would extend health and compensation programs for 25 more years to those battling serious health issues, including myeloma, resulting from the toxins at the World Trade Center site.”
Speakers at the IMF congressional briefing will discuss the latest research findings and share their personal experiences with myeloma. The audience will learn about multiple myeloma, opportunities for further research, potential environmental risk factors for myeloma, and efforts among patient advocates, industry, researchers, and policy makers to reduce exposure to environmental toxins associated with myeloma.
Speakers will include:
- Dr. Ola Landgren, Attending Physician and Chief of Myeloma Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital and former Chief of the Multiple Myeloma Section at the National Cancer Institute, who will discuss research on links between environmental exposures and myeloma
- Dr. Laura Crowley, Assistant Clinical Professor, Preventive Medicine at Mt. Sinai Hospital and Senior Physician in the World Trade Center Health Program, who will discuss her research on the increased prevalence of myeloma observed in responders registered in the World Trade Center Health Program
- Patricia Workman, who will share her personal experience as a volunteer at the World Trade Center site and subsequent diagnosis of myeloma
Ms. Workman said, “Now that I know all there is to know about what took place at Ground Zero, I would not change one thing that I did. I regret that I wasn’t able to do more.”
To learn more about the congressional briefing, visit: http://bit.ly/1rwSo41
Understanding Environmental Exposures and Cancer: The Case of Multiple Myeloma
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Cannon House Office Building, Room 121
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL MYELOMA FOUNDATION
Established in 1990, the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) is the oldest and largest foundation focusing specifically on multiple myeloma. The Foundation’s reach extends to more than 350,000 members in 120 countries worldwide. The IMF is dedicated to improving the quality of life of myeloma patients while working toward prevention and a cure by focusing on four key areas: research, education, support, and advocacy. The IMF has conducted more than 250 educational seminars worldwide, maintains a world-renowned InfoLine, and in 2001, established the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG), a collaborative research initiative focused on improving myeloma treatment options for patients. In 2013, the IMF launched the Black Swan Research Initiative®, a groundbreaking research project aimed at curing myeloma. The IMF can be reached at (800) 452-CURE (2873). The global website is www.myeloma.org. Follow the IMF on Twitter @IMFmyeloma.