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The Global Myeloma Action Network (GMAN) Summit

A summary report from the 2021 GMAN annual meeting which took place virtually.

Founded in 2013 by the International Myeloma Foundation, the Global Myeloma Action Network (GMAN) is a group of myeloma patient organizations from around the world who bring multiple myeloma advocacy leaders together and who share best practices to address mutual areas of concern of the global myeloma community. 

GMAN’s global mission is to improve the lives of myeloma patients, raise myeloma awareness, enhance the capabilities of patient advocacy groups, build the capacity of local myeloma organizations, and increase worldwide access to medicine and treatment.   

This year’s annual GMAN Summit was held virtually on August 25–26, 2021, with 50 advocates from 5 continents and 30 countries in attendance. IMF Director of GMAN, Europe & Middle East Patient Programs Serdar Erdoğan opened with a summary of IMF and GMAN’s digital events in the past year.  

Highlights of the 2021 GMAN Virtual Summit Include: 

  • IMF Chairman of the Board Dr. Brian G.M. Durie talked about “New and Emerging Treatments in multiple myeloma (MM), which included information about CAR T-cell therapies and bispecifics as well as current treatment and trial updates.  
  • The following day, Dr. Durie reviewed the latest information about COVID-19 in relation to myeloma, then facilitated a panel discussion on “How Can We Improve Access to Trials for MM Patients?,” along with Dr. Daryl Tan, Dr. Jean-Luc Harousseau, and Dr. Hartmut Goldschmidt. All agreed that identifying a “champion” is extremely important in smaller countries, if they are able to participate in trials. 
  • IMF Founder and Director of Global Patient Initiatives Susie Novis Durie and IMF Vice President of Support Groups Robin Tuohy shared their experiences for caregivers, focusing on difficulties brought about by the pandemic. They also provided information on virtual support groups as well as special focus support groups as possible options that can be explored in other countries. 
  • Dr. Sigurdur Kristinsson (University of Iceland) provided updates about the iStopMM Project — highlighting exciting results about the impact of screening for MGUS. 
  • IMF Senior Vice President of Global Advocacy, Access, Policy & Research Mimi Choon- Quinones gave an update on the IMF’s Beyond Medicines’ Barriers (BMB) while emphasizing on several projects:  
    • MRD value as a surrogate endpoint, 
    • Ensuring patient & caregiver values are part of resource decision-making,  
    • Offering a clinical trial in Ghana as a model for future access, 
    • “Artificial Intelligence in Multiple Myeloma” (AIMM) 

The 2021 Susie Novis Durie Grant

One of the biggest highlights of the Summit was naming the recipients of the 2021 Susie Novis Durie Grant. This year, the 2021 grants were announced for 4 countries: Austria’s “Home Training Exercise Program;” Croatia’s “Pathway to Clinical Trials in South Eastern Europe;” Israel’s “Raise Awareness Among Arabic Population;” and Portugal’s “Website Providing Professional Answers.” 

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