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October 2003 Volume 5, Issue 8:
Myeloma Patients and Oncology Nurses to Benefit from IMF/Millennium Collaboration
The IMF and Millennium Pharmaceuticals have agreed to collaborate on a medical education initiative for oncology nurses nationally which will also benefit multiple myeloma patients in their care.

The IMF and Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., of Cambridge, MA, the developer of VELCADE (bortezomib) for Injection, (a novel agent approved in the United States on May 13, 2003 by the FDA) have agreed to collaborate on a medical education initiative for oncology nurses nationally which will also benefit multiple myeloma patients in their care. For the full prescribing information go to www.mlnm.com/products/velcade/index.asp.

Through an unrestricted educational grant provided by Millennium, the IMF will work with oncology nurses to develop a series of accredited continuing education (CE) initiatives of interest to oncology nurses. A number of States require nurses to accumulate a minimum number of CE credits each year, enabling them to stay current on the latest and most up to date treatments within their field. This series of CE accredited initiatives will help oncology nurses nationally achieve this goal as well as assist them in the care and treatment of their patients with multiple myeloma.

As part of this collaboration, the IMF will use nurses from the Millennium AdvoCare Speakers Bureau. AdvoCare is sponsored by Millennium and is comprised of nurses and other medical professionals who have experience in working with VELCADE to treat multiple myeloma patients.

"We are very excited about this collaboration with Millennium," said Brian G.M. Durie, M.D., IMF Chairman of the Board. "Through this collaboration, oncology nurses can access valuable medical education resources to assist them in caring for multiple myeloma patients."

A listing of these initiatives will be featured on a web-hosted portal accessible through the IMF website. These medical education initiatives will initially include the following:

  • CE accredited presentation entitled: Proteasome Inhibition: A Novel Option for the Treatment of Multiple Myeloma Patients;

  • CE-accredited Roundtable discussion featuring oncology nurses discussing frequently asked questions (offered from both the nursing and patient perspectives);

  • CE-accredited case study section which will present a series of interesting nurse oriented cases dealing with the care and treatment of multiple myeloma patients.

Local Support Groups will also have the opportunity to work with the Advocare nurses as speakers at their local meetings by contacting the IMF and requesting a nurse. In addition, IMF Patient & Family Interactive Seminars held throughout the country will also be able to utilize the AdvoCare nurses as speakers during their sessions. For a current listing of upcoming events, please visit the IMF website at www.myeloma.org. Through a phone call, an oncology nurse experienced in the care and treatment of multiple myeloma patients can be identified, selected, and arrangements made for the nurse to be a part of a local or regional activity. Please contact the IMF for additional information.

Millennium and the IMF are also exploring the possibility of conducting an Oncology Nurse CE session at each Regional Patient & Family Interactive session.

"The IMF is proud to be involved in this collaborative effort with Millennium," said Susie Novis, IMF President. Improving the quality of life of myeloma patients and helping them in their struggle against their disease is the main mission of our organization. This partnership with Millennium will enable oncology nurses from across the country to become more educated about appropriate multiple myeloma patient management, which will directly translate into better patient care."

VELCADE is indicated for the treatment of multiple myeloma patients who have received at least two prior therapies and have demonstrated disease progression on the last therapy. The effectiveness of VELCADE is based on response rates. There are no controlled trials demonstrating a clinical benefit, such as an improvement in survival.

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