North Hollywood, CA, June 3, 2015 – The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) – improving the quality of life of myeloma patients while working toward prevention and a cure – will host the 6th Annual International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) Summit June 8-10 in Vienna, Austria. A record 100-plus IMWG members will attend the 2015 Summit, which convenes on the eve of the annual Congress of the European Hematology Association (EHA). The focus of the IMWG is on incorporating recent myeloma research advances into treatment for patients.
“The IMWG Summit provides a unique opportunity for the leading myeloma specialists from around the world to gather together to discuss and evaluate the newest research, including studies we are conducting collaboratively under the IMWG,” said Dr. Brian G.M. Durie, IMF Chairman and Co-founder, and IMWG Chairman. “The Summit provides the opportunity for us to evaluate the latest developments in myeloma research and treatment, and come to a consensus on how best to incorporate these advances into recommendations for improving treatment for myeloma patients globally.”
At this year’s Summit, for example, the IMWG will release a revised International Staging System (R-ISS) for newly diagnosed myeloma patients. The updated R-ISS is based on a study of data drawn from more than 4,000 patients in 11 international trials. The result is a simple and powerful prognostic staging system the IMWG will recommend for use in future clinical studies.
Highly anticipated new research—from minimal residual disease (MRD) testing and genome sequencing to the intriguing use of measles virotherapy to fight myeloma—will be discussed and debated at the 2015 IMWG Summit. Issues surrounding myeloma treatment, clinical trial design and patient quality of life will be tackled in discussions of questions such as “What Represents ‘Cure’ and How Can It Be Achieved?” and “How Do Costs and Access Impact Myeloma Care Globally?” In addition, investigators from the IMF’s Black Swan Research Initiative® (BSRI) team will meet to determine the next steps forward in the foundation’s exciting effort to find the pathway to cure myeloma.
Patients, caregivers and doctors around the world can be among the first to glean insights into the latest myeloma research and treatment by watching a live-stream broadcast from the Summit on Wednesday, June 10. On the IMF’s popular IMWG Conference Series, "Making Sense of Treatment," a panel of international myeloma experts—Drs. Brian Durie, Philippe Moreau, Joseph Mikhael, and Paul Richardson—will distill, debate and discuss what they learned at the Summit during a 90-minute webcast, which starts at 6:30 am ET. (The live and archived webcast can be found HERE.)
Additional highlights of the IMWG Summit include:
- The presentation of the IMF’s 13th Annual Robert A. Kyle Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Pieter Sonneveld, MD, Head of the Department of Hematology and Professor of Hematology at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The award honors an individual whose body of work has made significant contributions to myeloma research and patient care.
- A meeting of the Global Myeloma Action Network (GMAN). GMAN is an advocacy initiative of the IMF that brings together 30 myeloma patient groups from around the world to improve the lives of myeloma patients by raising global awareness of myeloma, improving patient outcomes through earlier diagnosis, and ensuring access to life-saving treatments.
“The IMF is proud to lead this unprecedented collaborative event that brings together the world’s experts in myeloma to advance treatment and research that will lead to a cure,” said IMF President Susie Novis.
Co-chairing the 2015 IMWG Summit are Dr. Brian Durie and Dr. Vincent Rajkumar of Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. Both serve on the IMWG organizing committee along with Dr. Jesus San Miguel, Dr. Antonio Palumbo and Dr. Philippe Moreau. Session chairs are Drs. Heinz Ludwig, Mario Boccadoro, Philippe Moreau, Meletios Dimopoulos and Matthew Drake. Dr. Kenneth Anderson will deliver the keynote address at the Summit welcome reception.
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL MYELOMA FOUNDATION (IMF)
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the International Myeloma Foundation reaches more than 350,000 members in 120 countries worldwide. A 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. Follow the IMF on Twitter @IMFmyeloma.