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August 6, 2002 IMF Myeloma Minute

In the News:

  • Senate Panel Adds 16% to Complete Doubling
    The last leg of the biomedical community's campaign to double the budget of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) over 5 years for a boost from the Senate Appropriations Committee, which approved $27.2 billion for NIH for the year beginning October 1. This is a 16% increase over 2002 and twice the agency's 1998 level. Although they are elated by the Senate's action, biomedical lobbyists note that the figure might be lower in the House, where the corresponding spending panel has a smaller overall total to work with. The House is expected to take up the spending bill in September after a monthlong recess; the two versions must them be reconciled.
    —Excerpted from the July 26th issue of Science Magazine.
  • Ex-Golden State Warrior Smith Dies
    Phil Smith, an all-American guard at the University of San Francisco before winning an NBA championship with the Golden State Warriors, died of multiple myeloma on July 29. He was 50.

What's New in Myeloma Research:

  • Amyloid Arthropathy in the Course of Multiple Myeloma
    Bruno Fautrel, Jean-Paul Fermand, Jean Sibilia, Dominique Nochy, Benoît Rousselin, and Philippe Ravaud

    Objective. Primary amyloidosis is classical in the course of multiple myeloma (MM), but peripheral amyloid arthropathy is unusual. We evaluated the frequency and effect of amyloid arthropathy in a single center series of patients with MM.

    Methods. Retrospective analysis of cases of peripheral joint amyloidosis in a cohort of patients with MM.

    Results. Between 1978 and 1996, 11 patients (6 women, 5 men, mean age 59 yrs) were diagnosed with biopsy proven amyloid arthropathy in a cohort of 311 patients with MM. Arthritis was the first symptom of amyloidosis in all patients and occurred within the 6 months after MM diagnosis in most patients (7/11). Nine patients had light chain MM and l light chain was more common than k (6 vs 5). Shoulder hypertrophic arthropathy and rheumatoid arthritis-like polyarthritis were the 2 most common involved sites. In most cases, joint involvement was responsible for major limitations in activities of daily living. Amyloid deposits were clearly visible on magnetic resonance images (MRI), which also showed inflammatory synovitis in some cases. Control of MM was often associated with improvement of amyloid arthropathy, but additional rheumatological treatment ‹ oral low dose prednisone or joint steroid injection ‹ was often needed to achieve more complete relief. Amyloid arthropathy was not associated with decreased survival, except for patients with concomitant cardiac involvement.

    Conclusion. This series provides reliable information on amyloid arthropathy, especially regarding functional effects, anatomical lesions on MRI, and therapeutic options.
    (J Rheumatol 2002;29:1473-81)

    Address reprint requests to Prof. P. Ravaud, Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Clinical Research, Hôpital Bichat, 46 rue Henri Huchard, 75018 Paris, France.
  • Determination of Plasma Cell Secreting Potential as an Index of Maturity of Myelomatous Cells and a Strong Prognostic Factor
    According to the widely accepted myeloma staging system, the bulk of paraprotein is the main determinant of disease stage. However, myelomatous plasma cells differ considerably in their ability to synthesize and secrete monoclonal paraprotein. We determined plasma cell secreting potential (PCSP) as the amount of M-component, divided by the percentage of marrow plasmacytic infiltration, in 240 patients with myeloma, and correlated our results with chain isotype, plasma cell morphology, severity of bone disease, well-recognized prognostic factors, such as serum LDH, CRP, albumin and g2-microglobulin, treatment response and overall survival. PCSP was higher in IgG than in other myeloma types, and was an almost constant parameter for each individual patient, in 134/166 cases. A >10% decrease of PCSP in 26 patients was associated with disease aggressiveness and treatment failure. Patients with MGUS had significantly higher PCSP than those with myeloma of the same chain type.
  • IMF 2002 Funded Research Progress Reports

  • International Myeloma Foundation and Goldman Philanthropic Partnerships Cosponsor New Research Initiative
    It's the Inspired Venture Program in Multiple Myeloma, a new opportunity for donors to target their funding for groundbreaking myeloma research. Based on venture capital and limited partnerships, this new program brings together foundations, research institutions, the business community, and individual donors to advance breakthrough research.

Advocacy Update:

August is congressional recess time. This is a good opportunity to meet with your senators and representatives while they are back home. Many will have town hall meetings to hear their constituents' views and concerns. If you intend on attending a town hall meeting or would like advice on how to set up a meeting with your members of Congress when they are in the state or district, please e-mail IMF advocacy consultant Greg Brozeit or contact him by phone at 818-728-4291.

For a complete overview on the IMF's support of the One Voice Against Cancer (OVAC) funding agenda, read Greg's complete Cancer Landscape presentation at the June 2002 OVAC Advocacy Day.

Items of Interest:
  • Myeloma Matrix now available!
    The IMF is committed to providing a total overview of the "future" as well as the current state of myeloma treatments. The Myeloma Matrix provides updated information about drugs beginning with pre-clinical developments and tracks drugs as they proceed through Phases I – III of clinical trials, drugs that have been FDA approved, and information on trials that are being conducted by NCI- sponsored cooperative groups as well as other myeloma study groups. Call the toll-free hotline (800) 452-2873 for your copy.
  • Metastisis to Bone: Causes, Consequences and Therapeutic Opportunities
    The most common human cancers — lung, breast and prostate — have a great avidity for bone, leading to painful and untreatable consequences. What makes some cancers, but not others, metastasize to bone, and how do they alter its physiology? Some of the molecular mechanisms that are responsible have recently been identified, and provide new molecular targets for drug development. An article from Nature Reviews Cancer by IMF Scientific Advisor Gregory R. Mundy, MD.
  • IMF Board Member and tournament organizer Don Springer is pleased to announce the 10th Annual Corporate Cup Golf Challenge and $1,000,000 Hole-In-One Shootout
    • Presenting Sponsor Mortgage Trader - Innovative Home Financing
    • Monday, August 26, 2002
    • Cress Creek Country Club
      1215 Royal St. George Dr.
      Naperville, IL 606563
      630/ 355-7300

Important Dates to Remember:

Novel Therapies and New Technologies
Toronto & Districts Multiple Myeloma Support Group Meeting Sponsored by Ortho Biotech
August 15th

IMF Patient & Family Seminar: Chicago, IL
August 16th and 17th

International Myeloma Foundation Multiple Myeloma Awareness Week
August 26th - September 1st

Ribbon of Hope: Making A World of Difference 12th Anniversary Gala
Washington D.C.
October 5th

Clinical Trials:

Melphalan, Total-Body Irradiation, and Peripheral Stem Cell Transplantation Compared With Combination Chemotherapy in Treating Patients With Previously Untreated Multiple Myeloma.

Combination Chemotherapy With or Without Interferon alfa in Treating Patients With Previously Untreated Multiple Myeloma.

Combination Chemotherapy in Treating Patients With Multiple Myeloma.

Conditioning Therapy and Blood or Marrow Transplantation in Patients With Severe Hematologic Malignancy.

Epoetin Alfa in Patients With Multiple Myeloma and Chemotherapy Related Anemia.

Three Regimens For the Prevention of Delayed Nausea After Chemotherapy in Patients With Chemotherapy-Naive Cancer.

Exciting Opportunities:

Multiple Myeloma Quilt of Courage
All the squares for the first quilt have been sold! We are now taking orders for the second quilt. Deadline will be September 27th.

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