The International Myeloma Foundation Says 10 Years after Introduction of the Novel Therapies Survival, Quality of Life, and Treatment Options Significantly Improve

Data to be Presented at the 53rd Annual Meeting of The American Society of Hematology (ASH)

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif. & SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec 8, 2011 - The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) – the oldest and largest foundation dedicated to improving the life and care of myeloma patients – said data to be presented at this year's ASH hematology-oncology conference are expected to indicate important new progress in treating myeloma. Data continue to demonstrate benefits for these patients, with improved overall survival results and good quality of life, along with new ways to use existing drugs, including long-term treatment, and new methods of delivery.

Myeloma, also called multiple myeloma, is a cancer of cells in the bone marrow that affects blood cell production and can damage bone. Ten years ago Brian G. M. Durie, MD, Chairman and Co-Founder of the IMF, noted in an article (CURE magazine 2002) that progress was just beginning with bone marrow transplants and new approaches to treatment, that would become the novel agents.

Today, Dr. Durie notes, “We do yet have a cure, however, we're seeing sustained remissions with the novel agents. Survival rates have doubled in older patients and average survival in younger patients is now longer than 10 years.”

At this year's ASH conference, abstracts point to longer-term follow up studies to better assess survival; and demonstrate positive results with approved drugs, with drugs under development, or combinations of both, so that patients who relapse will have more options. Included is a study demonstrating marked improvement in overall survival of younger patients in the era of novel therapies (Abstract # 2950, December 12th, 6:00 PM).

“We are very encouraged by the changes we've seen in the lives of patients since the advent of novel therapies, which tells us we're edging closer to a cure,” said Susie Novis, President and Co-founder of the IMF. “And we won't rest until we get there.”

The IMF will also be hosting two events at ASH highlighting myeloma progress with novel therapies, one with patients who have benefited from current therapies, the other with myeloma experts who will discuss the results that will shape the near term treatment options.

Patients Personifying Progress: 2011

At this informal reception, along with Dr. Durie, three long-term myeloma survivors will talk about how novel therapies have kept them alive.

Saturday, December 10th
6:00 – 7:30 PM
Athens Market Taverna
109 West “F” Street

International Myeloma Foundation Journalists' Workshop

Leading myeloma experts will discuss the latest treatment paradigms, coming out of ASH that could deliver the long-term survivors of the future, in a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Durie.

Monday, 8-10 PM
Webcast live and archived at www.myeloma.org

ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL MYELOMA FOUNDATION

Celebrating its 21st anniversary, the International Myeloma Foundation is the oldest and largest myeloma organization, reaching more than 215,000 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 250 educational seminars worldwide, maintains a world-renowned hotline, and established the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG), a collaborative research initiative focused on improving myeloma treatment options for patients. The IMF can be reached at (800) 452-CURE (2873). The global website is www.myeloma.org.

 

Contact: Planet Communications
Deanne Eagle, 917-837-5866

 

 

Posted: December 2011

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