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April 12, 2003 Myeloma Minute
What's News
    People often call the IMF and ask "What can I do to help?" The IMF is delighted to announce MAIL FOR THE CURE, a simple but very powerful concept by which YOU can make a big difference.
  • Sequence matters when using novel agent
    Velcade should be given either before or with taxane-based chemotherapy drugs, but not after, say researchers at MD Anderson who conducted laboratory tests using prostate cancer cells. The finding is important because Velcade will likely be tried as new treatment for a number of cancers due to its effectiveness in multiple myeloma. (from EurekAlert!)
  • The IMF would like to congratulate Dr. Brian Durie on his appointment as Co-Chair of the SWOG (Southwest Oncology Group) Myeloma Committee. Dr. Durie is pleased to join Dr. Bart Barlogie, as his fellow Co-Chair. Southwest Oncology Group, is one of the largest of the National Cancer Institute-supported cancer clinical trials cooperative groups in the United States. Their primary mission is clinical research in the prevention and cure of cancer in adults. SWOG meets twice a year and their spring meeting is taking place this weekend in San Diego, California. For more information about SWOG visit their website at http://swog.org.
  • Hospital Stays Getting Shorter
    Hospital patients are being sent home much sooner thanks in part to better surgical techniques and improved drugs, U.S. government statisticians report. (from Reuters Science)

What's New in Myeloma Research:
  • Stem cells take a shortcut to the bone marrow
    John E. Dick and Tsvee Lapidot
    An Inside Blood article
    One of the major problems limiting stem cell-based therapies is the absence of a clear understanding of the composition of the stem cell (HSC) pool in humans. The right cell must be targeted for the right therapy.
  • Downstream effectors of oncogenic ras in multiple myeloma cells
    Liping Hu, Yijiang Shi, Jung-hsin Hsu, Joseph Gera, Brian Van Ness,
    and Alan Lichtenstein
    Several pathways contributing to stimulation of cytokine-independent growth are activated downstream of oncogenic ras in myeloma cells. Therapeutic strategies that target these pathways may be particularly efficacious in patients whose myeloma clones contain ras mutations.

Advocacy Update:
  • More than 225 advocates from throughout the nation gathered in Washington, DC on April 7-8, 2003 for the 4th annual One Voice Against Cancer Lobby Day.

  • Next week's edition of the Myeloma Minute will provide a summary of the activities. The IMF's Greg Brozeit delivered the address "What is One Voice Against Cancer?" to kick off the two day event.

What's New in Clinical Trials:

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 CenterWatch and EmergingMed. The IMF has entered into partnerships with them 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 material from the National Cancer Institute.

Quality of Life Update:
  • Caringbridge.org
    CaringBridge is a nonprofit organization offering free web pages to keep friends and family - your caring community - in touch and informed during your treatment. Started in 1997, this year it will host more than 8,000 personalized CaringBridge pages, with more than 20 million visits, and more than a million guestbook entries.
  • Special Myeloma Support Group Meeting - April 26 - El Segundo, California
    We are very pleased to have Dr. Robert Vescio as the speaker at our meeting. Dr. Vescio is a highly regarded myeloma specialist at Cedars-Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Center. Among other topics, he will be discussing Thalomid, a drug produced by Celgene Corporation, which is used by many myeloma patients. He will also discuss other drugs in clinical trials as well as the role of stem cell transplants in myeloma treatment.
    • Date: Saturday, April 26
    • Time: 10:15 am to 12:15 pm
    • Place: Joslyn Center, 339 Sheldon Street, El Segundo
      This is a senior center located in a large recreation park just east of downtown El Segundo. A key intersection is Sepulveda and Grand Avenue, about a mile south of LAX. The Joslyn Center is west of Sepulveda and one block north of Grand Avenue.

Refreshments for this meeting are provided by Susana Lee in memory of her
father, Yu Sang Lee, who passed away October 19 at the age of 83.

For further information, contact Janet Johnson (310) 540-8653/email:

If you are interested in joining a support group, use the IMF's worldwide support group directory to find one that meets near you. You can also join our online support group.

If you have a topic of particular interest that you would like us to feature, if you are starting a support group, or if you are in a support group that is doing something to make a real difference in the lives of mutiple myeloma patients and their families and friends, let us know.

Upcoming Seminars and Conferences:
  • IXth Annual International Workshop On Multiple Myeloma
    May 23-27, 2003
    Salamanca, Spain
    Every two years, the myeloma scientific community gathers from around the world to discuss the state of the art in myeloma treatment and research. This year they are meeting in the ancient and beautiful city of Salamanca.

Upcoming Fundraisers:

FUNdraising Made Easy
You know you want to do something, but deciding on what to do can be confusing. The IMF can help.

5th Annual Yard Sale for Myeloma Research
April 18-19, 2003
Ocala, FL
4th Annual JC Invitation Golf Tournament
May 17, 2003
Wapicada Golf Course, Sauk Rapids, MN

"Hair Cares"
June 22, 2003
Curries Hair, Skin & Nail Salon, Glen Mills, PA

5th Annual Corporate Challenge
June 30, 2003
Stamford, CT
Wamp Swim-athon
July 19, 2003
West Hartford, CT
Mile High March for Myeloma
August 16, 2003
Lake Arrowhead, CA
Ralph Ferrizzi Memorial Golf Tournament
August 23, 2003
Allentown, PA
Corporate Cup Challenge
August 26, 2003
Naperville, IL

Exciting Opportunities
  • The Catlett Card Series
    The Catlett Cards are designed by Irma Catlett in memory of her husband Lou, who lost his battle with myeloma in 2001. The stunning pictures on these cards chronicle their travels together and honor Lou and the life they shared. It is Irma's hope that the cards bring cheer to all who view them. All proceeds go to support the programs of the IMF.
  • Robert Kyle Lifetime Achievement Awards Dinner
    August 2, 2003
    Rochester, MN

    The International Myeloma Foundation is proud to present its first Robert A. Kyle Lifetime Achievement Award to Robert A. Kyle, M.D., Professor of Medicine & Laboratory Medicine, Mayo Clinic, in recognition for his outstanding life work, clinically and in research, in the field of myeloma. The award will be presented in subsequent years to honor other professionals for their work in the field.
  • Ribbon of Hope Making A World of Difference Anniversary Gala
    October 4, 2003
    Paul Allen's Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle, WA

    The evening promises to be the best ever, both creatively and financially! The EMP is Seattle's most unique architectural wonder. The Frank O. Gehry-designed building houses a new interactive museum that combines performance space, technology and revolutionary architecture in a facility created to celebrate the heritage and anticipate the future of American popular music.
  • Multiple Myeloma Quilt of Courage
    The third quilt is on its way to the quilter to be pieced together. Several people who reserved squares for this quilt did not return their squares; therefore, we have had to move some people who reserved squares for the 4th quilt up to the 3rd. This leaves some squares still available for the 4th quilt so if you're interested, please email Suzanne Battaglia (sbattaglia@myeloma.org).

    The following people should keep their eyes open for the 3rd quilt to appear on the web. They are:

Jeanne Bechtel
Vanessa Bernstein
Harriet Bertsche
Lynn Betts
Anna Cazale
Leslie Cohen
Samona Creasy
Susan Emery

Keith Garber
Hal Gleason
Pat Hall
Anne Heutlinger
Barbara Jewell
Samara Krugman
Christine Meeks
Kim Patocka

Serafin Salgado
Christine Storms
Judy Van Schoyck
Laura Schultz
Patricia Wascher
Isabelle Weinberg
Tracy Wright

  • Time for Mother's Day! You can make your mother a very happy woman with the help of IMFers Esther and Herman Adler, of Adler & Company Jewelers in Los Angeles. Buy beautiful jewelry at wholesale prices and—if you tell them you are an IMFer—a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the IMF. They make it so easy, too. They can work from digital pictures if you cannot meet with them, and they have a return policy if you are not completely satisfied. Call them at 213-624-1945 for more information.

Items of Interest:
  • Myeloma Matrix
    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. The online version is updated regularly. If you would like to have a printed copy, call the toll-free hotline (800) 452-2873.
  • NexCura Cancer Profiler
    The Cancer Profiler is a free service (no hidden fees or charges). Its tools provide you with information specific to your cancer diagnosis to help you make more informed treatment decisions along with your physician.
  • Expert Opinions on Multiple Myeloma
    A multimedia, CME-accredited program for physicians with the chance to see world-renowned myeloma specialists sharing their knowledge, discussing treatment choices, and comparing their perspectives on controversial issues in multiple myeloma and related diseases.
  • MMInteractive
    An exciting new way for myeloma patients to get involved at patient seminars.
  • International Prognostic Index
    The International Myeloma Foundation is proud to be the sole sponsor for the International Prognostic Index (IPI) Classification for Multiple Myeloma. Nearly twenty myeloma institutions from around the world are collaborating to create an updated staging system for multiple myeloma.
  • Bank On A Cure
    The IMF is pleased to announce the launch of Bank On A Cure™, a groundbreaking international collaborative effort to establish a method to find new treatments while customizing care for current patients.
  • Myeloma At The Movies
    It has been our goal to bring our Patient & Family Seminars to people around the country who might not be able to attend an actual meeting, so we have set up a video lending library....

Shop for the Cure!

Many of the internet's most popular merchants will donate a portion of your purchases to the IMF if you enter their sites using the links on our Shop For The Cure page. You can also use the special shortcut URLs listed below:

So, Shop For The Cure by using these links to the same get great service and low prices you're used to while helping support the IMF!

Help Us Help Others...
As a non-profit organization, the IMF is completely dependent on the support of our members. Please consider showing your support by making a tax-deductible donation today. 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. We sincerely thank you for your support.

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