The Israeli Association of Myeloma Patients, also known as AMEN, was founded to benefit the welfare of myeloma patients in Israel. AMEN's mission is to improve the quality of life of myeloma patients by being a centralized source of information about the disease, treatment options, and ongoing scientific research, as well as offering support in dealing with Bituah Leumi (Israeli Social Security), health insurance companies, and patients' rights. AMEN is dedicated to helping myeloma patients and family members cope with the impact of diagnosis and the ensuing issues. AMEN's Hebrew language website will offer educational content, including translations of IMF materials and publications.
On July 29, 2005, AMEN held the first meeting of the Israeli Myeloma Working Group, which was sponsored by Roche Pharmaceuticals. AMEN initiated the creation of the working group as a joint venture with the Israeli Society of Hematologists. Chairing the meeting were AMEN's Medical Advisor, Professor Aaron Polliack, and the head of the Israeli Society of Hematologists and Blood Bank, Professor Gil Lugassy. Invitations were sent to all the medical institutions in Israel that treat myeloma patients.
The Israeli medical community responded favorably -- 29 representatives from the most important medical and research centers attended the meeting. Never before has there been a forum of this size addressing the issue of myeloma in Israel! Without a doubt, this can be seen as a breakthrough in the history of myeloma in Israel.
At the meeting, the participants addressed the following four topics:
1. Establishment of a registry
2. Establishment of a computerized database accessible by all medical institutions
3. Basic research
4. Clinical research
The registry and database topics were presented by Dr. Marilius (Zamenhoff Clinic) and Mr. Edelist (AMEN). The clinical study program was presented by Dr. Hardan (Tel Hashomer). The research program was presented by Dr. Cohen (Meir Center), Mrs. Neuman (Univeristy of Tel-Aviv), Dr. Gesundheit (Hadassah en Karem), Dr. Bullvick (Laniado Hospital), and Prof. Berrebi (Kaplan Medical Center).
Prof. Ben-Yehuda (Hadassa en Karem) was elected chairman of the Israeli Myeloma Study Group, Dr. Hardan was elected secretary of the group, and Dr. Marilius has been named its clinical research coordinator. The research group will be headed by Mr. Zion Katz (Ichilov Medical Center) who will organize scientists from the Weizman Institute, local universities, and medical research centers dealing with myeloma. Many other physicians registered to take part in the group's activities.
This forum has the power to create a new and better future for the myeloma community in Israel, and AMEN has made it a priority to raise the necessary funds to support the group as part of its mission to find a cure for myeloma.
EDITOR'S NOTE: AMEN was founded by Paula Azulai, a myeloma patient, who is now the chairperson of the organization. For more information, please contact Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0544-906635.