North Hollywood, CA, June 6, 2014 – The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) – improving the quality of life of myeloma patients while working toward prevention and a cure – will host the 5th Annual International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) Summit June 9 - 11 in Milan, Italy. The Summit is held each year prior to the annual Congress of the European Hematology Association (EHA). The goal of the IMWG Summit, which will be attended by a record 87 IMWG members, is to incorporate recent myeloma research advances into treatment for patients.
“The IMWG Summit provides a unique opportunity for the leading myeloma specialists from around the world to gather together to discuss and evaluate the newest research, including studies we are conducting collaboratively under the IMWG,” said Dr. Brian G.M. Durie, IMF Chairman and Co-Founder and IMWG Chairman. “The Summit provides the opportunity for us to evaluate the latest developments in myeloma research and treatment, and come to a consensus on how best to incorporate these advances into recommendations for improving treatment for myeloma patients globally.”
New myeloma research is front and center at this year’s IMWG Summit. This includes the introduction of a new ultrasensitive myeloma testing method developed in conjunction with the IMF’s signature Black Swan Research Initiative®. Susie Novis, IMF President and Co-Founder, noted, “the introduction of this exciting flow cytometry technique into clinical trials will move the Black Swan project significantly forward in its goal of finding a pathway to the cure for myeloma.”
The IMF will share developments from the IMWG Summit directly with patients on June 11th with the popular IMWG Conference Series, "Making Sense of Treatment," which will be live streamed from Milan. The live webcast will feature international myeloma experts Drs. Brian Durie, Ola Landgren, Joseph Mikhael, Antonio Palumbo, and Stephen Russell, who will debate and discuss the latest advances in myeloma research and treatment. The webcast will stream live at 12 pm ET on June 11th. The live and archived webcast can be found HERE.
Other highlights expected during the IMWG Summit include:
- Dr. Antonio Palumbo, Chief of the Myeloma Unit at the University of Torino, Italy, will receive the Robert A. Kyle Lifetime Achievement Award, awarded by the IMF each year to an individual whose body of work has made significant contributions to myeloma research and patient care.
- IMWG member Dr. Stephen Russell of the Mayo Clinic will present his research on virotherapy for the treatment of myeloma. He and colleagues recently reported that a myeloma patient treated with a massive dose of engineered measles virus experienced a remission. IMWG members will discuss how this new approach could offer a new path forward in treating myeloma.
- IMWG members will discuss new developments and provide recommendations in the following key areas: frontline therapy in non-transplant candidates; the role of transplant as first-line therapy; new active drugs; and updated genetic risk-stratification of multiple myeloma.
- In conjunction with the IMWG Summit, the IMF is conducting the second annual Global Myeloma Alliance (GMA) Summit. The GMA, an advocacy initiative of the IMF, is an alliance of myeloma organizations and advocates from around the world joining forces to elevate global awareness of myeloma, improve patient outcomes through earlier diagnosis, and ensure access to life-saving treatments. Thirty members of the Global Myeloma Alliance are expected to attend.
The IMF founded the IMWG, which includes 160 leading myeloma researchers from around the world, in 2001 to evaluate and conduct collaborative research, provide consensus opinions, and improve myeloma treatment options and diagnostic systems.
The Black Swan Research Initiative receives support from private donors, as well as a multi-year sponsorship from Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an Amgen subsidiary.
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL MYELOMA FOUNDATION
Celebrating its 23rd anniversary, the International Myeloma Foundation reaches more than 350,000 members in 120 countries worldwide. A 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of myeloma patients and their families, the IMF focuses on four key areas: research, education, support, and advocacy. To date, the IMF has conducted more than 250 educational seminars worldwide, maintains a world-renowned hotline, and established the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG), a collaborative research initiative focused on improving myeloma treatment options for patients. The IMF can be reached at (800) 452-CURE (2873). The global website is www.myeloma.org. Follow the IMF on Twitter @IMFmyeloma.