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The International Myeloma Foundation is proud to be the sponsor for the International Staging System (ISS) (previously called the International Prognostic Index or IPI) for Multiple Myeloma. The ISS is a collaborative research initiative with nearly twenty myeloma institutions from around the world. IMF Scientific Advisors Jésus San Miguel from Spain and Dr. John Crowley, of the Cancer Research & Biostatistics organization, and Dr. Philip Greipp of the Mayo Clinic are co-chairs for the project. Dr. Durie introduced the ISS in his article, THE IMPORTANCE OF KNOWING POTENTIAL OUTCOME: Role for the new International Prognostic Index (IPI), in the April 2002 issue of Myeloma Today.

The ISS is an updated staging system for multiple myeloma. Institutions around the world have submitted over 10,000 cancer cases diagnosed in previous years for data collection and analysis in developing a new myeloma staging system.

The ISS is an important project for patients in the short-term because based on the data collected thus far (over 10,000 patients) we have outcome information from these patients and we know if/how these patients have responded to treatment. Factors variables play an important role with the IPI because we know which factors are most predictive in the myeloma patient. High predictor factors include Beta 2, serum albumin, platelet count, calcium, hemoglobin level, age, chromosome 13 and performance status.

Based on the strong indicators from the ISS data, we can establish groups of myeloma patients, e.g., high risk, non high risk, and we are able to tell if a patient will do well or not do well on a planned course of treatment.

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