The Importance of Having a Plan

When a myeloma treatment or research plan comes together, it can be a great achievement. But it is unlikely to occur by chance. The goals and options need to be laid out very carefully ahead of time.

Why expertise is important in guiding treatment planning, myeloma research, and much more

A new book, “The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters,” highlights the disconcerting rise in anti-expertise sentiment in the U.S. In the era of Wikipedia and Google, everyone can be his or her own “expert.” The bounty of information available is a positive development. But the notion that experts can be wrong and therefore cannot be trusted is a dangerous one.

Global Collaboration Essential to Achieve a Cure for Myeloma

“Our primary objective is to cure myeloma by preventing malignant transformation in patients at risk.” Those are the words of Bruno Paiva, principal investigator of our Black Swan Research Initiative® (BSRI) project in Pamplona, Spain. To truly achieve this, the 200-plus members of the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) are collaborating on and implementing multiple research projects around the world.

Misleading medical news: be wary and aware!

Two weeks ago in my blog, I discussed a Yale News story that announced: “Yale researchers discover underlying cause of myeloma.” I pointed out that they had shown evidence that a lipid trigger factor was involved in the development of myeloma in patients with Gaucher’s disease – a rare metabolic disease. And for these patients only. This point was also emphasized in a Health News Review report. Subsequently, Yale News changed the headline of their news release to “Researchers link lipids to one third of myelomas” – conceding that for 70% of patients, there was no link!

To collaborate, or not to collaborate, that is the question

The successes achieved by the IMF’s International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) are due, in large part, to collaboration. Bringing myeloma researchers together to produce consensus guidelines and to brainstorm about new research ideas, such as the Black Swan Research Initiative® – the IMF’s “Myeloma Moonshot” – has produced significant breakthroughs, advanced understanding and improved patient outcomes.

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