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Report from the 2nd Annual Czech Myeloma Group Patient Seminar

The IMF was pleased to support and be an active participant at the 2nd Annual Czech Myeloma Group Patient Seminar. Led by Prof. Roman Hajek, the weekend seminar was held in Podebrady, a lovely spa town an hour outside of Prague. The activities began on Friday, September 1st with a Welcome Reception, which provided a wonderful opportunity for patients to meet one another in a relaxed setting, and share experiences over dinner, followed by music and dancing.

On Saturday, September 2nd Prof. Hajek opened the meeting with a warm welcome to the 200 people in attendance. Susie Novis gave a presentation updating the attendees on the activities of the IMF, its mission and the foundation's emphasis on education.

Gizela Kapustova

Next on the agenda were presentations from Support Group leaders of several organizations in the Czech Republic including Czech Myeloma Group Foundation, the experience of a patient organization in Germany presented by Gizela Kapustova originally from Slovakia now a leader of the Munich, Germany support group (MHM), Elena Garajova's overview of a patient organization in the Slovak Republic, and a presentation on a new organization called The Patient Club in the Czech Republic by Dr. Jaroslav Gumulec.

The day progressed with presentations covering topics that included symptoms and diagnostics of myeloma presented by Dr. Jiri Minarik, standard therapy by Dr. Evzen Gregora, and high dose therapy and stem cell transplantation by Dr. Vladimir Maisnar. Next up was Dr. Brian Durie who gave a discussion on new approaches to frontline therapy, followed by the Seminar Chair, Prof. Roman Hajek, who gave a talk on the current availability of new drugs in Czech Republic.

At the Czech Myeloma Group Patient Seminar

The area of supportive care was nicely covered with Dr. Pavol Kotoucek speaking about myeloma bone disease management, followed by Dr. Jan Straub who gave a talk on anemia management, and then Dr. Ondrej Slama gave a talk on pain management.

Next on the agenda was a video presentation, "Understanding Bisphosphonates," a collaborative effort of the IMF and Novartis, that gave an update on the importance of bisphosphonates as well as dental care in conjunction with this important therapy.

Gregor Brozeit

Gregor Brozeit, IMF European Director, was on hand at the meeting with the various support group leaders and doctors to discuss future projects and partnerships with the IMF.

At the Breakout Sessions

After lunch the attendees were invited to attend breakout sessions that provided more in-depth discussions on the morning's topics.

Susie Novis was pleased to see that Prof. Hajek was leading the "Care Givers Need Care Too" breakout!

Susie Novis and Iveta Mareschová

The IMF wishes to extend a very heartfelt thanks to Prof. Hajek and Iveta Mareschová for all their hard work to make the 2nd Czech seminar such a wonderful success. We were proud to be able to be a sponsor of this meeting as well as an active participant.

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