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IMF Myeloma Minute: March 12, 2002

IMF Advocacy Update:

As you might have heard, a second advocacy day for blood cancers has been scheduled for April 30th/May 1st, 2002. As you may recall, Geraldine Ferraro first announced that she is a myeloma patient during last year's joint advocacy day for blood cancers. We know that advocacy is high on the list for many of our members and we want to take this opportunity to let you know about some of our upcoming plans.

We wholeheartedly support the blood cancers bill. For the past three years, the IMF has written the language that was included in the NCI appropriations bill that successfully put pressure on the NCI to address myeloma research and it?s related issues. Last year we expanded our efforts to include pressure on the Centers for Disease Control and four other National Institutes of Health. We are proud of the success we have achieved to date and look forward to continued success.

In planning our advocacy strategy for 2002, we realized that we were sitting on a Golden Opportunity! This year's IMF Washington D.C. Patient & Family Seminar is scheduled for June 7th and 8th, 2002, just two days after another VERY IMPORTANT advocacy event, the 3rd annual OVAC (One Voice Against Cancer) Advocacy Days, scheduled for June 3rd and 4th, 2002. This is an excellent opportunity for the IMF to rally the support of its members nationwide, many of whom will already be assembled in the DC area. Given the great timing of the two events, we will easily be able to assemble an impressive team of myeloma advocates ready to have its voice heard on Capitol Hill.

The IMF has launched this plan as a two-prong approach designed to maximize visibility for the myeloma community. The IMF has focused most of our advocacy efforts on the federal appropriations process to support funding for the National Cancer Institute. The IMF supports the agenda of OVAC, a coalition of more than 40 cancer advocacy organizations including the American Cancer Society, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Oncology Nurses Association, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, the Kidney Cancer Association and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. (Talk about strength in numbers!) The IMF believes that working together is the best way to achieve more funding for cancer research -- especially deadly cancers like myeloma.

This year, President Bush recommended fulfilling a five-year pledge to double funding for the National Institutes of Health, of which, NCI is the largest institute. The IMF has consistently put the appropriations process at the top of its Advocacy Program agenda, and we feel the leadership of the myeloma community will contribute greatly to the success of OVAC's efforts.

Just as the IMF is taking a key role in this year's OVAC Advocacy Days, the MMRF is taking an active role in the Joint Advocacy Days. Having both organizations actively involved with each advocacy event will ensure that the myeloma community is well represented and vocal during differing parts of the congressional process. Together, the efforts allow us to maximize our resources in support of a myeloma federal legislative agenda.

We think it's great if our members are able to attend both events. But if you can only attend one, we urge you to join the IMF in DC on June 3rd and 4th and help us lobby for the increased research budget for the NCI. As you may know, the IMF has scheduled a Patient & Family Seminar in the DC area on June 6th and 7th. This is the perfect opportunity to visit our nation's capital, lobby for increased cancer research funding and learn the latest in the treatment and management of myeloma -- all in the same trip!

As always, we thank you for your support of the myeloma community and the International Myeloma Foundation, and we look forward to seeing you in Washington on June 3rd and 4th! Together, we WILL make a difference.

We look forward to seeing you in Washington this June!

Research Updates:

The following research updates have been published in the March 15, 2002 issue of Blood.

Requirements of src family kinase activity associated with CD45 for myeloma cell proliferation by interleukin-6.

Oncogenesis of multiple myeloma: 14q32 and 13q chromosomal abnormalities are not randomly distributed, but correlate with natural history, immunological features, and clinical presentation.

Myeloid cell factor-1 is a critical survival factor for multiple myeloma.

Intracellular regulation of tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand-induced apoptosis in human multiple myeloma cells.

Life and death of multiple myeloma cells.

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