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ASCO 2016: More Excitement About Daratumumab (Darzalex®) and Tremendous Interest in Value and Costs
As usual, far fewer myeloma-related abstracts will be presented at next month’s annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) than are presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) each December. But, writes IMF Chairman Dr. Brian Durie in his blog this week, the results of the Phase III CASTOR study have created some excitement, and the subjects of “cost” and “value” in cancer treatment are definitely in the air! To read Dr. Durie’s blog, click HERE.

Calling All Researchers: Submit Your Grant Applications for the 2016 Brian D. Novis Research Awards
The Brian D. Novis Research Awards honor the IMF’s founder Brian Novis, who died of multiple myeloma in July of 1992. The awards go to researchers doing work in the field of multiple myeloma and related disorders including smoldering myeloma, MGUS (monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance), as well as immunoglobulin-derived amyloidosis. The 2016 awards are $50,000 each for junior grants and $80,000 for senior grants. August 1, 2016 is the deadline for applications. For more information and grant applications, click HERE.

International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) Says Controversial Drug Cost Report Could Limit Patient Access to Optimal Treatment

 IMF Raises Red Flags in Advance of May 26 Hearing, Offers Alternate Approach

Janssen’s Single-Agent DARZALEX® (daratumumab) Approved by European Commission for Treatment of Multiple Myeloma (MM)
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended granting a conditional marketing authorisation for Darzalex (daratumumab) for the treatment of adults with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. Darzalex is to be used in patients whose previous treatment included a proteasome inhibitor and an immunomodulatory agent (other types of cancer medicines) and whose disease worsened after treatment.

What Is a Life Worth?
QALY stands for the quality of an adjusted life year. It is a ratio that economists use to determine the quality and quantity of life in order to ascertain the cost of medical interventions. But, as IMF Chairman Dr. Brian Durie asks, where do these numbers come from? In his blog this week, Dr. Durie calls for regulatory agencies to respect patients’ rights to the best care possible by not assessing them based on an arbirtrary number such as QALY.

What is this new Black Swan project called iStopMM?

In this week’s video, Dr. Brian Durie describes how the iStopMM study aims to prevent myeloma in the entire adult population of adults who are age 40 or over in Iceland.

BOTTOM LINE: While a seemingly lofty goal, iStopMM may bridge the pathway to eliminating myeloma.

Elotuzumab Approved in Europe for Multiple Myeloma
The European Commission approved elotuzumab (Empliciti) for use in combination with lenalidomide (Revlimid) and dexamethasone for patients with multiple myeloma following progression on at least 1 prior therapy.

Watch the replay of "Recent FDA Approved Treatments for Myeloma" teleconference
Dr. Rafat Abonour, Director, Multiple Myeloma Program at Indiana University Simon Cancer Center, and IMF Medical Liaison, speaks about myeloma drugs recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and their real-world impact in the US. With many of these drugs slated for approval or use in clinical trials around the world, tune into this free webinar to hear about treatments that could soon be available.

The IMF's Nurse Leadership Board Publishes a Study in Cancer Medicine
Congratulations to the members of the International Myeloma Foundation’s Nurse Leadership Board (NLB) on the publication of their manuscript, "Lack of Health Maintenance Exams and Risk in Myeloma Patients,” in the journal Cancer Medicine. Dr. Joseph D. Tariman, a founding member of the NLB, is the lead author of this collaborative research paper, which discusses health maintenance and preventative care practices of multiple myeloma patients. The NLB appreciates the leadership of Charise Gleason, MSN, NP and Dr. Lonial Sagar, who provided guidance in all aspects of Institutional Review Board submission and for his insights on manuscript development and revisions.

Myeloma Treatment Recommendations Should Come from the Experts
A myeloma drug cost-assessment report that IMF Chairman Dr. Brian Durie wrote about in his blog last week continues to raise eyebrows—and considerable ire—among patients. They worry the report’s findings could limit treatment access. As a May 26th hearing on the draft ICER report draws near, Dr. Durie argues that the International Myeloma Working Group offers a superior framework for treatment decision-making recommendations. To read his blog, click HERE.

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