Myeloma Minute: Is MRD ready for prime time?


Upcoming Consensus on Minimal Residual Disease (MRD) Testing Confirms Black Swan Approach

The IMF’s Black Swan Research Initiative® moves a major step forward with the imminent publication of new myeloma response criteria using minimal residual disease (MRD) testing. In his blog this week, IMF Chairman Dr. Brian Durie explains the significance of this consensus by more than 200 top myeloma experts and why it confirms the Black Swan approach, and offers a snapshot of MRD testing for patients wondering if it’s ready for “prime time.” To read Dr. Durie’s blog, click HERE.


New Black Swan Research Initiative Video from the 2016 IMWG Summit

In this video, Dr. Sirgurdur Kristinsson of the University of Iceland describes the exciting new Black Swan Research Initiative® study, iStopMM (Iceland Screens, Treats, or Prevents Multiple Myeloma). Dr. Kristinsson shares why Iceland, with a population of 340,000, and 140,000 of those being over the age of 40, is an ideal setting for this study. As part of the iStopMM study, these 140,000 Icelanders over 40 will have their blood samples tested for the precursor to multiple myeloma, or MGUS (monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance). If they test positively for MGUS, they are given the option to take part in a randomized clinical trial to treat or prevent the progression of MM. Dr. Kristinsson explains the four aims of this groundbreaking study HERE.


Calling All Researchers: Submit Your Grant Applications for the 2016 Brian D. Novis Research Grants

The Brian D. Novis Research Grants are named in honor of the IMF’s founder Brian Novis, who died of multiple myeloma in July of 1992. These grants go to researchers doing work in the field of multiple myeloma and related disorders, including smoldering myeloma, MGUS (monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance), as well as immunoglobulin-derived amyloidosis. The junior grants are $50,000 and $80,000 for senior grants. August 1, 2016 is the deadline for applications. For more information and grant applications, click HERE.


Number of States with Oral Parity Laws Climbs to 42!

Governor Bill Walker of Alaska and Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania signed oral parity legislation into law, making them the 41st and 42nd states to do so. Oral parity legislation requires state-regulated private insurance plans to cover oral anti-cancer medications at the same rate that they cover infusions. The efforts in Pennsylvania have been sought after since 2009. In Alaska, advocate Eric Johnson testified in front of both the state House and Senate, sharing his story to help the legislators understand the challenges cancer patients face. In rural states like Alaska, patients often have to travel hours to receive care. Oral parity laws are especially important because patients don’t have to travel to receive treatment and can take their medication at home. The IMF congratulates the Advocacy Team and members of the State Patients Equal Access Coalition on a job well done! If you have questions about an oral parity law in your state, email [email protected].

Myeloma Patient Advocate and Triathlete Races for a Cure

Lauren Marx will be racing the Ironman Triathlon in Lake Placid, New York on July 24, 2016. “Recently, I have been touched by multiple myeloma and this year I hope to raise awareness for myeloma patients and raise money to help find a cure!” she says. You can help Lauren achieve her goal by purchasing a “Remembrance Path” sign, in memory or in honor of a loved one, and sponsoring her 1.2-mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run. You can sponsor one or all of the three events that make up the Ironman. To contribute and support Lauren and help find a cure, click HERE.

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