China Visit Strengthens Ongoing Collaborations to Improve the Lives of Myeloma Patients Worldwide

This past weekend members of the IMF’s Asia team visited Shanghai, China. There were meetings with both myeloma doctors and patients. In 2011, the IMF created the Chinese Myeloma Working Group (CMWG) with the support of myeloma experts Prof. Wenming Chen, Prof. Jian Hou, and colleagues. Joint meetings have been held once or twice each year since then.

New MRD Testing Launched at 2nd International IMF-EuroFlow Workshop

“Adopt not adapt” was the mantra as more than 124 attendees listened intently to the opening lectures given by Dr. María-Victoria Mateos, Dr. Bruno Paiva, and myself at last week’s 2nd International IMF-EuroFlow Workshop on Myeloma MRD (minimal residual disease). Dr.

iStop MM® gets off to a fast start

The IMF team just returned from the exciting iStopMM kickoff meeting held September 26-27th at the deCode Genetics facility at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik. A major project funded by the IMF’s Black Swan Research Initiative, iStopMM (Iceland Screens Treats or Prevents Multiple Myeloma) will examine blood samples from approximately 140,000 adults over age 40 in Iceland for the earliest signs of myeloma. The goal of this innovative and ambitious effort, as I have written about in previous blogs here and here, is to stop myeloma before it develops into full-blown disease.

Precision Oncology and the Cancer Moonshot: Where Do We Stand?

There have been recent commentaries on the prospects and potential for both what is called "precision oncology" and Vice President Joe Biden's Cancer Moonshot program. Although I have discussed both in the past, the current news, writes Dr. Vinay Prasad in the journal Nature, is quite “sobering.” The news is sobering because the hype and expectations are way beyond the truth. When costs are high—and in the case of precision oncology, they are extremely high—research efforts must focus on areas of likely success, not on high expense with little likelihood of return. Since myeloma is one of many cancers (and not the most common), we are particularly sensitive about the need to fully justify the spending of every research dollar.

Four Important Ways Iceland’s iStopMM Research Project Will Help Myeloma Patients Globally

The iStopMM research project is about to get started in Iceland. It is supported through the IMF’s Black Swan Research Initiative® and literally will include Screening, Treating OPreventing myeloma. Beginning in October 2016, approximately 140,000 people over 40 in Iceland will be screened with SPEP (serum protein electrophoresis), UPEP (urine protein electrophoresis), and Freelite tests to see if they have MGUS (monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance), smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM), or full-blown multiple myeloma (MM). If they have MGUS or SMM, they will be initially monitored. If they have myeloma, they will be treated.

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