Here we are in what are supposed to be the dog days of summer, the month of August. It’s the time of year when people are on vacation and not much is happening except hot sticky weather. But here at the IMF, a lot of activity is taking place this month.
On August 10, the IMF clinical conference – Challenging Cases in Multiple Myeloma & Related Plasma Cell Disorders – was held in New York City. The IMF partnered with Network for Oncology Communication & Research (NOCR) to present this exciting and interactive program, which was made possible by sponsorship from Novartis, Celgene, Millennium, CTI, and NeoRx.
This invitation-only meeting was open only to hematologists and oncologists from across the country who treat myeloma. They were presented with 10 case studies of actual patients and had the unique opportunity to share their thoughts on how they would treat each case and to debate particular treatment recommendations of the panel of myeloma experts that included Chairman, Dr. Brian Durie, Dr. Raymond Alexanian, Dr. Bart Barlogie, Dr. Bill Bensinger, Dr. Robert Kyle, and Dr. Vincent Rajkumar. The program format made for a very lively and stimulating meeting.
On August 15, Dr. Durie and I traveled to Toronto for a meeting with the local myeloma support group. This was our second visit with the group and, once again, group leader Marion State did an excellent job of organizing our visit and making us feel welcome. We enjoyed the opportunity to meet with the group members and share the latest information about what’s new in myeloma research and treatment.
We left Toronto the next morning for the Chicago IMF Patient & Family Seminar, held on August 17. We were looking forward to being back in the windy city and meeting old friends and making new ones. The IMF once again brought together an expert faculty for the full day seminar. A highlight of this meeting was an announcement about our exciting new partnership – The Inspired Venture Partnership in Multiple Myeloma. This program, co-sponsored by the IMF and the Goldman Philanthropic Partnerships, is designed to seek out high risk/reward research from a range of disciplines (oncology to computer science, to mathematics, to integrative medicine). You’ll be reading more about this program in future issues of Myeloma Today.
But the month is not over yet! The IMF is about to launch our CME-accredited CD- ROM web-based program: Expert Opinions on Multiple Myeloma. This program, made possible by a generous grant from a patient, provides physicians with the chance to watch world-renowned myeloma specialists share their knowledge, discuss their treatment choices, and compare their perspectives on controversial issues in multiple myeloma and related diseases.
And if that’s not enough, we will end August with our first ever national Myeloma Awareness Week, which takes place August 26 through September 1, 2002. It’s an excellent opportunity for members of the myeloma community to unite in our fight against myeloma.
Myeloma never takes time off and neither does the IMF. We are here to serve you. And remember – “Until there is a cure…There is the IMF.”