Obesity, myeloma, and younger age of onset

The average age of first diagnosis of myeloma is 67. However, as reported in The New York Times, a new study shows that those born in 1985 (or later) had a 59 percent higher risk of developing myeloma versus individuals born in 1950 (or earlier). Adults in this study aged 25 to 49 had an increased risk of developing myeloma, and it was linked to the increased occurrence of obesity in this younger population. This is something quite new and unexpected. It is definitely a wake-up call about both the magnitude of the obesity epidemic in the U.S. and the potential for serious consequences.

A Myeloma Warrior Who Inspired Us All

It was a very sad day in December 2018 when I learned of the passing of Hardy Jones, a patient who was a myeloma warrior and true inspiration to the myeloma community. Since 1978, Hardy had pursued a life devoted to the study and protection of dolphins. He became the “dolphin defender,” and with actor and activist Ted Danson, established BlueVoice.org, an organization devoted to protecting dolphins and whales. Along the way, Hardy received numerous awards for his documentary filmmaking, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Wildlife Film Festival.

Will Resilience be the Answer in 2019?

After a hectic 2018, early indications are that changes and challenges may face us in 2019. On the same day we learned that Celgene, the dominant pharmaceutical company in the myeloma field for over two decades, will be bought by Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), the price of Celgene’s myeloma drug, Revlimid, was increased yet again. The future landscape in the myeloma space will emerge in the coming months as the takeover by BMS is finalized in the third quarter of 2019.

 

Future Myeloma Therapy - We Plan, God Laughs

As we grapple with the outcomes from the myeloma research presented in San Diego last week at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), it is worth pondering the future for myeloma therapies. So many options, so much excitement—but where does it lead us?

 

iSTOPMM is Leading the Way to A Cure and is Honored at a Presidential Luncheon

On Thursday, November 15, the iStopMM (Iceland Screens Treats or Prevents Multiple Myeloma) team gathered at the deCODE genetics facility in Reykjavik, Iceland, for the 3rd Annual iStopMM research review meeting. This marked the end of a successful second year and the launch of the project’s third year. The IMF-funded project’s remarkable achievements, including the recruitment of more than 80,000 Icelandic participants—making it the world’s largest myeloma study, drew the attention of Iceland’s president, Gudni Thorlacius Jóhannesson. He was the first to publicly volunteer for the project when it launched in 2016. This year, he graciously invited IMF president Susie Durie and myself, iStopMM principal investigator Prof. Sigurdur Kristinsson, Una Jóhannesdóttir, and three myeloma patients active in the country’s patient organization, Kristín Einarsdóttir, Kjartan Gunnarsson, and Gunnar Rúnar Kristjánsson, along with their spouses, to a luncheon on November 14 at the president’s residence, Bessastadir.

 

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