NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA and WÜRZBURG, GERMANY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 12/19/2005 -- The International Myeloma Foundation -- conducting research and providing education, advocacy, and support for myeloma patients, families, researchers, and physicians worldwide -- today announced it is restructuring its European operations. Effective mid-January, outreach to European patients, families and physicians will be coordinated through a new office being opened in Würzburg, Germany. The International Myeloma Foundation also maintains regional headquarters in Brazil, Japan, Israel and has affiliates in Australia and Canada, with global headquarters in North Hollywood, California, USA, where the organization was founded.
Myeloma, also called multiple myeloma, is a potentially fatal cancer of the bone marrow affecting production of red cells, white cells and stem cells. Myeloma is the second most common blood cancer after lymphomas, affecting more than 250,000 people worldwide, and its prevalence is increasing.
"Newer, more effective and less invasive treatment regimens are becoming available for myeloma patients, and we play a crucial role in educating patients, families and physicians worldwide about the newest options and the latest medical research," said Susie Novis, founding president of the International Myeloma Foundation. "Reorganizing our operations in Europe to strengthen our presence on the Continent, dovetails with initiatives we will announce early in the New Year to strengthen our presence in Latin America and our already strong position in Israel, Australia and Japan."
The IMF has been increasingly active in Europe. Within the last five years, Patient and Family Seminars, Scientific Myeloma Symposia, and Myeloma Conferences have been held in Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Zurich, Istanbul, St. Petersburg, Rome, Vienna, Heidelberg and Turin. In 2006, IMF activities are already slated for cities in Austria, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the Czech Republic. A native of Germany, Gregor Brozeit, who currently is the Director of Public Advocacy for the International Myeloma Foundation, will direct the European operations.
"This restructuring will enable us to better serve the growing number of patients on the Continent and to interact directly with the dozens of local myeloma organizations being established across Europe as awareness of myeloma increases," says Mr. Brozeit. "Having spent a considerable portion of my life in both Germany and the United States, I understand the common issues and concerns patients face on both sides of the Atlantic."
The International Myeloma Foundation manages patient and physician education and outreach programs geared to the specific needs of each global region where it operates. In addition, the Foundation established and maintains Bank on a Cure®, a unique repository of myeloma genetic information with dual laboratories in the US and the UK. Recent findings reported at a major international cancer conference indicate the Bank on a Cure is helping doctors identify genetic differences that help explain susceptibility to myeloma and response to medications to help guide individualized treatment and prevention plans in the future.
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL MYELOMA FOUNDATION
The International Myeloma Foundation is the oldest and largest myeloma organization, reaching more than 125,000 members in 113 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 in four key areas: research, education, support and advocacy. To date, the IMF has conducted more than 100 educational seminars worldwide, maintains a world-renowned hotline, and operates Bank on a Cure®, a unique gene bank to advance myeloma research. The IMF can be reached at (800) 452-CURE or www.myeloma.org.