--Renowned French Scientist Instrumental in Studying the Role of Viruses in Multiple Myeloma--
North Hollywood, CA, October 8, 2008 - The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF)—supporting research and providing education, advocacy, and support for myeloma patients, families, researchers, and physicians—today congratulated French researcher Dr. Luc Montagnier as co-recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize in medicine. Dr. Montagnier, who is best known for his role in discovering the virus that causes AIDS, has also contributed to new lines of research related to multiple myeloma – he attended the very first IMF scientific advisors retreat, and participated in an IMF round table at the VII International Myeloma Workshop in Stockholm.
"Dr. Montagnier has helped advance our research into the role of viruses in multiple myeloma," said Brian G.M. Durie, M.D., chairman and co-founder of the IMF. "We thank him for his time and insights, and for his advanced equipment and expertise that have led to new discoveries helping us understand the root causes and improve early detection of myeloma."
Myeloma, also called multiple myeloma, is a cancer of cells in the bone marrow that impairs production of blood cells. Specifically, Dr. Montagnier has helped advance efforts to develop molecular diagnosis of myeloma by Dr. Durie and his research partner Howard Urnovitz, Ph.D., CEO of Chronix Biomedical. They were looking specifically at the intriguing role played by segments of RNA, a chemical relative of the genetic molecule DNA, that circulate in the blood of myeloma patients. Dr. Montagnier named their discovery "voyager RNA."
"We continue to thank Dr. Montagnier for his thoughts and vision on this important project that could lead to 21st century personalized medicine for myeloma patients," said Dr. Urnovitz. "We also whole-heartedly support this worldwide endorsement of his contributions to science and medicine."
Dr. Durie in conjunction with Chronix Biomedical will be publishing work on the use of circulating genetic material as an early sign of cancer cell re-emergence. Dr. Montagnier currently serves as director for the World Foundation for AIDS Research and Prevention in Paris.
About the International Myeloma Foundation
The 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 genebank to advance myeloma research. The IMF can be reached at (800) 452-CURE. The global website is www.myeloma.org.
CONTACT: Stephen Gendel and JenniferAnderson 212-918-4650