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February 2003 Volume 5, Issue 5:
Indiana University Cancer Research Center Patient Dinner

This issue of Myeloma Today is sponsored in part by an unrestricted educational grant from Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

Dr. Rafat Abonour and Oncology Nurse Gina Smith

Dr. Rafat Abonour, Oncology Nurse Gina Smith and other members of the Indiana University Cancer Research Center organized a patient dinner in Indianapolis on October 17th, 2002. There was quite a crowd, with more than 150 patients and caregivers in attendance. This was the second annual patient dinner for the folks in Indiana, where there are not yet any myeloma support groups.

Invited speakers included Dr. Kenneth Anderson of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Mike Katz from the International Myeloma Foundation.

Dr. Anderson presented an overview of current research in myeloma. While the briefing was a bit technical, the overall message is clear—there is a lot of very exciting work going on in understanding the biology of myeloma that is opening up new ways to approach treatment of the disease.

Gloria and Timothy Hortsmeyer with IMF Board Member Mike Katz

Mike Katz discussed lessons learned as a patient in the twelve years since his diagnosis. The attendees were very engaged in the discussion, asking some very good questions and sharing some of their own war stories.

People stayed well past the end of the program to take advantage of the opportunity to talk to others battling myeloma. We salute Dr. Abonour, Gina Smith, and the dedicated staff from the Indiana University Cancer Research Center for all of their hard work. We also thank Celgene, Novartis, and Amgen for their support of this very important patient event.

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