Los Angeles, CA, September 9, 2021 – International Myeloma Foundation Board Member Dr. S. Vincent Rajkumar, professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, was recognized Wednesday for his outstanding contribution to myeloma research by the International Myeloma Society. Dr. Rajkumar received the 2021 Waldenström Award, named for Prof. Jan Waldenström, a pioneer in treating blood cancers, during the society’s annual meeting this week in Vienna. 

“This award recognizes the tremendous positive impact Dr. Rajkumar’s research has had on myeloma patients around the world,” said IMF Chairman of the Board Dr. Brian G.M. Durie, who received the award in 2009. 

Dr. Rajkumar called the recognition “a rare and remarkable honor that I will cherish forever,” adding, “I view this as a team award made possible by collaborations with members of the Mayo Clinic myeloma group, the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, and the International Myeloma Working Group.”

Dr. Durie praised the collaborative efforts that Dr. Rajkumar has led over the years with members of the International Myeloma Working Group, the research arm of the International Myeloma Foundation. “These efforts have set the global standards for disease diagnoses and treatment.” For example, Dr. Rajkumar spearheaded an update of the definition of multiple myeloma to include validated biomarkers. The result, the International Myeloma Working Group updated criteria for the diagnosis of multiple myeloma, is one of the most frequently cited papers in the field. 

During his career, Dr. Rajkumar has also fostered many myeloma guideline and research papers by Working Group members, encouraged new first authors, and, as an editor of Blood Cancer Journal, has overseen the timely publication of new myeloma research findings.

“I hope to continue my research for a long time to come and look forward to working with colleagues and patients to achieve our collective goal of curing myeloma,” Dr. Rajkumar said.

Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the bone marrow plasma cells -- white blood cells that make antibodies. A cancerous or malignant plasma cell is called a myeloma cell. Myeloma is called "multiple" because there are frequently multiple patches or areas in bone where it grows. It can appear as both a tumor and/or an area of bone loss, and it affects the places where bone marrow is active in an adult: the hollow area within the bones of the spine, skull, pelvis, rib cage, and the areas around the shoulders and hips.

Founded in 1990, the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) is the first and largest foundation focusing specifically on multiple myeloma. The Foundation's reach extends to more than 525,000 members in 140 countries worldwide. The IMF is dedicated to improving the quality of life of myeloma patients while working toward prevention and a cure by focusing on four key areas: research, education, support, and advocacy. The IMF has conducted more than 250 educational seminars worldwide, maintains a world-renowned InfoLine, and in 2001, established the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG), a collaborative research initiative focused on improving myeloma treatment options for patients. In 2012, the IMF launched the Black Swan Research Initiative®, a groundbreaking research project aimed at curing myeloma. The IMF can be reached at (800) 452-CURE (2873). The global website is Follow the IMF on Twitter @IMFmyeloma.

Contact: Debra Gendel, IMF
[email protected]

Contact: Sapna Kumar, IMF
[email protected]
818.487.7455 ext. 258

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