--Award Presented to the IMF Chairman And Co-Founder at the XII International Myeloma Workshop - Washington, D.C.--
--Dr. Durie Cites Dramatic Progress in Treating Myeloma; Calls for Continued Collaboration and Innovation in Research--
North Hollywood, CA and Washington, D.C. - February 27, 2009 - The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF)—supporting research and providing education, advocacy and support for myeloma patients, families, researchers and physicians—today congratulated its co-founder and chairman, Brian G.M. Durie, M.D., as the 2009 recipient of the prestigious Waldenström's Award for lifetime achievement. The award, named for Prof. Jan Waldenström, a pioneer in treating blood cancers, was presented at the opening of the XII International Myeloma Workshop in Washington, D.C.
In accepting the honor, Dr. Durie noted: "When I published my first paper on myeloma in 1975, there was little that could be done to extend survival. As I wrote in the Journal of Clinical Oncology last October, results have improved dramatically with the novel agents available today, such as Thalomid®, Velcade® and Revlimid®. Overall survival expectations have essentially doubled with the introduction of these agents.
"Today our mission is to continue this progress, to expand access to these medical advances to all who need it, and to support and encourage innovation in research and drug development so this momentum continues. I'm deeply honored that the contributions I've made in the field of myeloma have been recognized by my peers.”
In addition to his leadership role with the IMF, Dr. Durie is a practicing hematologist/oncologist. He is national director for hematological malignancies at Aptium Oncology, and myeloma specialist at Cedars-Sinai Outpatient Cancer Center. Dr. Durie chairs three major research groups -- the Myeloma Network for Aptium Oncology, the IMF's International Myeloma Working Group and the Myeloma Committee (Co-Chair) for the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG).
Dr. Durie has received numerous congratulations from his colleagues in the myeloma research community. S. Vincent Rajkumar, M.D., Mayo Clinic, said, "Dr. Durie's contributions to the myeloma field are too numerous to list. Besides his many major research contributions such as the development of the initial staging system for the disease, he has been a vigorous advocate for myeloma patients worldwide as the leader of the International Myeloma Foundation. As leader of the International Myeloma Working Group he has established enduring standards for the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of the disease."Fellow myeloma researcher Sundar Jagannath, M.D., St. Vincent's Comprehensive Cancer Center, said, "Dr. Durie's vast experience and dedication to continuing myeloma research make him one of the most respected myeloma experts in the world, and his research efforts provide invaluable resources for physicians, patients and caregivers who are confronted with this disease."Other notes of congratulations include:
"Dr. Durie's medical achievements alone would be enough for a lifetime. I am proud that he also helped found the IMF and works with us to make sure patients are aware of the progress being made so they can take advantage of the new approaches to treatment."Susie Novis, IMF co-founder and president."I am pleased to be collaborating with Dr. Durie to look for the reasons myeloma comes out of remission. Only in this way will we find a cure."Luc Montagnier, M.D., co-recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize in medicine.
Myeloma, also called multiple myeloma, is a cancer of cells in the bone marrow that affect production of blood cells and can damage bone. Myeloma affects an estimated 750,000 people worldwide, and in industrialized countries it is being diagnosed in growing numbers and in increasingly younger people.
ABOUT the International Myeloma FoundationThe International Myeloma Foundation is the oldest and largest myeloma organization, reaching more than 185,000 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 200 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. The global Website is www.myeloma.org.
Stephen Gendel and Jennifer Anderson