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What's new with the Black Swan Research Initiative(R)?

In the first episode of the new year, Dr. Brian Durie of the IMF looks back on the progress of a signature project, the Black Swan Research Initiative® to discuss major accomplishments in 2014.

Is a Cancer Diagnosis Just a Matter of Bad Luck?
A mathematical analysis of cancer statistics recently published in the journal Science is generating a lot of attention. The study suggests that many cases of cancer may be the result of random cell mutations or bad biological luck, rather than genetics, behavior, or environmental factors. The research here could lead some to argue that cancer can’t be prevented. But might that attitude be dangerous? IMF Chairman Dr. Brian Durie weighs in with a new blog post on what all of this means.

Help IMF Reach $50,000 in Mambo for Myeloma Donations
The #MamboforMyeloma initiative has asked patients, caregivers, doctors, friends, family members, and groups to film themselves dancing and share a donation link for the cause. You don’t have to be an amazing dancer; the spirit is what is important. To date, more than $30,000 has been raised for the IMF through this campaign, and now we are asking you to keep it going. We hope to hit the $50,000 mark by the end of the year.

Two New Sponsors for the Cancer Drug Coverage Parity Act
The IMF Advocacy Team has scored a major victory by adding two new cosponsors to one of our federal bills, HR 1801: The Cancer Drug Coverage Parity Act of 2013. The two new sponsors are Rep. Earl Blumenauer from Oregon’s 3rd district, and Rep. George Butterfield from North Carolina’s 1st district. In total, this brings the number of cosponsors up to 92! We thank both Reps. Blumenauer and Butterfield for their support, and with it we are one step closer to oral parity on the national level.

Dr. Durie Reviews Key ASH 2014 Data
The 56th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting featured more than 3,000 presentations, with more than 850 focused on myeloma. IMF Chairman Dr. Brian Durie, who moderated several important panels during the ASH meeting, reviews the key myeloma presentations and explains how they fit into the evolving treatment and diagnostic landscapes. CLICK HERE to read Dr. Durie’s blog.

IMF & Support Group Team Members Influence Social Media @ #ASH14
The IMF and its support group team members ruled the social media scene during ASH by sharing the latest updates on Twitter, Facebook, and blogs. The social media analytics company Symplur reports that IMF’s social media team members were among the Top Ten by number of tweets during the ASH meeting, an impressive feat considering that more than 20,000 people attended this major medical conference! See #IMFASH14 on Twitter to review the social media team’s tweets and CLICK HERE to read all blog posts.

IMWG Conference Series Debate: Now Divided by Topic
The IMF capped off the ASH meeting with Making Sense of Treatment: The International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) Conference Series. Dr. Durie moderated and he was joined by IMWG members Dr. Joseph Mikhael, Dr. Ola Landgren, and Dr. Antonio Palumbo to tackle the key questions currently facing myeloma doctors and patients in light of the latest research presented at ASH.

News Briefing: The Latest on Blood Cancers – From Advances to Patient Advantages

Live from San Francisco, where the 56th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting is taking place, leading blood cancer experts, advocacy organizations and patients will put data into perspective, showcasing how scientific advances help patients. A recording of the webcast will be available on December 8th.

Watch IMF's "Point-Counterpoint Session" Broadcast Live from ASH
Tune in today to watch the IMF’s satellite symposium live from the ASH annual meeting. The presentation, “Critical Issues Need Answers: Providing Best Options for Myeloma Treatments in 2014,” will feature interactive case discussions with “point-counterpoint” sessions from leading myeloma physicians. Topics will include: when to treat smoldering myeloma; assessing response and minimal residual disease following induction therapy; maintenance therapy; and salvage therapy in relapsed/refractory myeloma. The event will be webcast live at 3:30 pm ET/ 12:30 pm PT on Friday, December 5th.

Featured on “Extra” TV: IMF’s 8th Annual Comedy Celebration benefiting the Peter Boyle Research Fund and supporting the Black Swan Research Initiative®
“Extra” caught up with stars Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton and Doris Roberts for a mini “Everybody Loves Raymond” reunion, nearly 10 years after the show said goodbye! The stars talked about how they remember their late co-star and friend Peter Boyle, who died of Multiple Myeloma in 2006.

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