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Bank On A Cure Launch: IMF Launches World’s First DNA Database for Myeloma Patients
05.05.05
Geraldine Ferraro Donates DNA Sample to Bank On A Cure®

NEW YORK (May 9, 2005) –The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) today announces the launch of Bank On A Cure®, the first myeloma-specific, cancer-patient DNA bank in history. Bank On A Cure was created to advance research, to provide better treatments in the short term, and to find a cure for multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow.

As part of today's public launch event at the Millenium Hilton in New York City, Geraldine Ferraro will contribute a sample of her DNA to Bank On A Cure through a simple, painless procedure known as “swish and rinse.” Ms. Ferraro was diagnosed with myeloma in 1998.

"Bank On A Cure holds tremendous potential to move our understanding of myeloma forward by leaps and bounds," said Ms. Ferraro. "I am delighted to take part in a project that will benefit not only current myeloma patients such as myself, but also cancer patients for years to come."

"The International Myeloma Foundation is privileged to have the Honorable Geraldine Ferraro participate in Bank On A Cure," said Susie Novis, IMF president. "We foresee a time in the near future when each patient’s treatment will be tailored to his or her own genetics, allowing better, more effective therapies. This important project will move us closer to that goal and to finding a cure for myeloma."

"This personalized molecular approach to myeloma research and treatment is a key component to the IMF’s research efforts to introduce molecular medicine into day-to-day myeloma management," said Dr. Brian Durie, IMF Chairman of the Board.

Created by the IMF, Bank On A Cure is the world’s first databank of myeloma patient DNA and information. The project brings together the global myeloma community to create a truly collaborative research environment with the ability to analyze complex genetic information from thousands of myeloma patients around the world. Bank On A Cure has already collected DNA samples from more than 5,000 myeloma patients. Researchers are currently looking at patients’ responses to treatment to improve the benefits of existing therapy, reduce side effects, and improve patients’ quality of life right now.

Institutions, researchers, patients and family members who would like to participate in Bank On A Cure can do so by contacting the IMF at (800) 452-CURE or www.myeloma.org.

Donating DNA to Bank On A Cure

Because every cell in the human body contains the same DNA, a convenient source is the surface cells inside the mouth. These cells, called buccal cells, can be collected through a simple, painless procedure called "swish and rinse." A patient drinks a small cup of mouthwash—provided by Bank On A Cure as part of the collection kit—"swishes" it around in his or her mouth, and then "rinses" the sample into a coded collection cup. The DNA sample is then returned to the Bank On A Cure laboratory at the University of Minnesota Cancer Center, for analysis.

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About the IMF

The International Myeloma Foundation is the oldest and largest myeloma organization in existence, reaching more than 125,000 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 on four key areas: research, education, support, and advocacy. To date, the IMF has conducted more than 100 educational seminars worldwide; maintains a world-renowned hotline; and ensures that patients' voices are heard on Capitol Hill. The IMF can be reached at (800) 452-CURE or www.myeloma.org.

Contact:

David Smith, Bank On A Cure Administrator
International Myeloma Foundation
800-452 2873 or via e-mail at dsmith@myeloma.org


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