As the year drew to a close, I heard from so many people about how relieved they were that 2001 was finally over. The past year was one of enormous upheaval and grief. But, strangely, in the world of multiple myeloma it was also a year of hope.
Evidence of this was apparent at the recent meeting of ASH where there were over 200 abstracts on myeloma. Currently, exciting drugs such as PS-341 and the new iMid Revimid¨ are moving through clinical trials. These drugs hold much promise for improving the outlook for myeloma patients.
Important work in myeloma research is taking place in labs around the world. Numerous studies are being conducted, including projects on molecular genetics, bone metabolism, and cytokines to name a few. More and more pharmaceutical and biotech companies are developing drugs and technologies that may have an application in the treatment of myeloma.
When Brian Novis was diagnosed in 1988, the drugs available to treat myeloma were melphalan and prednisone, dexamethasone and interferon as a maintenance therapy. What a choice. Today, the myriad of new treatment possibilities challenges both patients and physicians to stay abreast of emerging options in order to attain the best outcome possible.
Knowledge is power! Our thanks to Geraldine Ferraro who made myeloma a household word. She too recognizes how powerful education is. As she so aptly stated in her letter to the IMF, ÒThe International Myeloma Foundation has been a source of information and hope not only for me but for many other myeloma patients. It has educated and provided support to our families and most importantly has been at the forefront of raising public awareness and money for research.Ó
If weÕve learned one lesson this past year, itÕs that even in the darkest hour there is a glimmer of hope. All of us at the IMF hope that we have been able to provide you and your family with that beacon of light. And remember Ð
"Until there is a cureÉ There is the IMF."